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Updated Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:21 PM

Memorial Day activities



Finding ways to honor veterans, play in the water and sun or just generally being entertained this weekend ought to be a snap. Local volunteers and organizations have planned all manner of activities for the Memorial Day weekend.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 973 opened the observances early Thursday, placing flags, a tribute to their fallen brothers, around the small memorials that line the perimeter of Ely Park in Sherman.

Memorial Day events will be held simultaneously at 11 a.m. Monday in Sherman and Denison. Denison's Memorial Day Service will feature the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard presenting the flag and playing "Taps." The service will be held in Fairview Cemetery, 1501 Highway 91, Denison.

A press release from the Denison VFW Post No. 2773, which is conducting the service, states, "This is the 142nd year of honoring. The 'Memorial' in Memorial Day has been ignored by too many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Often we do not observe the day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice."

In Sherman, many veterans groups are coming together at West Hill Cemetery to present the service to honor those who have died while wearing a U.S. military service uniform. Among the groups uniting Monday will be the American Legion, Simmons-Hardwicke Post 29, Sherman, which will direct the service with participation by AMVETS Post 47, Sherman; The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 2772, Sherman; Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 973, Sherman; Disabled Veterans of America, Chapter 54, Sherman; Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 612, Sherman; The Marine Corps League Detachment 929, Pottsboro; The Perrin Field Honor Guard, Boy Scouts of America; The Perrin Field Museum, Denison.

The program will begin with an opening by the master of ceremonies, Larry Martin, commander of American Legion Post 29, and Billy Williams, chaplain VFW Post 2772, will give the invocation. Larry Harding, commander of VFW Post 2772, will introduce those presenting items during the ceremony. Lauren Fanning and Laura Frazier, Sherman High School, will sing the National Anthem. James W. Farris, a retired chief warrant officer of the U.S. Air Force, is co-founder of the Perrin Field Museum. Farris will present the Memorial Day Address.

Laying the memorial wreaths will be members of the VFW Auxiliary, American Legion Auxiliary, Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, United Daughters of the Confederacy; Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of the Republic of Texas. David Pedigo, of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 973, will play "Taps." Williams will deliver the benediction.

Denison's traditional Memorial Day Parade, "Always Honor, Never Forget," will step off at 1 p.m., sponsored by the Denison Chamber of Commerce.

"Please join us as we recognize our veterans and the huge contribution they've made to our country," said Anna McKinney, president of the Denison Chamber of Commerce.

Grand Prize is $200, first prize is $150, second prize is $100. Best car or motorcycle club and best equestrian group will each win $75.

The parade will begin at Crawford Street.

In Heritage Park on Main Street in Denison, from 11 a.m. -3 p.m., Monday, the 14th annual Taste of Texoma will be conducted before and after the parade. So people can eat, watch the parade, and eat some more. Local restaurants will be offering their wares -- and the proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Denison.

Before participating in the serious business of paying tribute to those who've served in the U.S. military services, folks in Texoma can travel to downtown Denison at 7:30 p.m. Friday when the city's Music on Main series continues with the Oliver White Band.

Come evening Friday, the Texoma Storytelling Festival kicks off its series with a free presentation of ghost stories at 9 p.m. at the gazebo in Denison's Forest Park, in the 300 block of West Crawford. Storytellers will stay around Saturday for series of workshops on the craft of storytelling and then spin some tales in the afternoon. Saturday events require tickets which range from $15 for senior adults, $20 for students to $25 for adults for the series. Per event tickets also will be on sale for $8-$10. Workshops are held at the Senior Citizens Center, 531 W. Chestnut, at 9 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Various performances will be held in the Festival Tent in Heritage Park, 400 block of Main Street in downtown Denison and at the Senior Citizens Center from 9 a.m. until the grand finale at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Fiddle fanciers can head over to Whitewright where the Fiddle Fest begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues until there's a winner. The Fiddle Fest will be held at the Whitewright Civic Center at 206 W. Grand St. Contact Jason Andrew (903-819-0302) for more information.

For those whose interests trend toward the great outdoors, Friends of Hagerman have designed a Super Saturday to provide entertainment and nature education for every age. Kids can learn how to fish, what lies inside a puddle, where and how to look for their favorite constellations and how to spot birds of every stripe. Adults can do all that and more. Starting with a pancake breakfast Saturday at 9 a.m. through star gazing and an owl walk, after dark.

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is located off FM 1417, south of Pottsboro, with the office at 6465 Refuge Road, just north of the airport. For more information, call 903-786-2826.

Sherman Parks and Recreation Department will start the summer off with a splash at the Splash Family Aquatic Center at Fairview Park. The city of Sherman will open the water park from noon -8 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Possibly not to tempt anyone into playing hooky the last week of school, the pool will close again on Tuesday, be open from 2 -8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 2 -6 p.m. June 4. Regular hours begin June 5. Fees are $3 for those up to 15 years of age, with one child 2 or younger swimming free with each adult. Those 16 and up pay $4. The city also offers season passes for individuals and families.

From 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Saturday, Texoma Patriots will hold a tribute to fallen heroes at Waterloo Park, on Waterloo Lake off West Crawford in Denison. Dallas City Limits and Fred Spears will provide musical entertainment at 1 p.m.

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