By AMANDA TONOLI
While steeper gas prices and a chance of rain are among the things to watch for this holiday weekend, there will be plenty of opportunities to honor heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Gas prices will be about $2.82 for the Memorial Day weekend, which often serves as the unofficial kick-off to the summer travel season. The Northeast Ohio average is $2.76, 16 cents more expensive this week, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Weather in the Mahoning Valley throughout the holiday weekend is predicted to be rainy, off and on.
“It seems like there’s the whole period of time Saturday, Sunday and Monday [when] its tough to rule out rain,” said Tom King, National Weather Service meteorologist. “That’s the problem with these fronts in the area. There’s a trough of pressure over the weekend.”
Jeff Vrabel, commander of the Sons of American Legion Mahoning Valley Squadron 15 in Poland, said Memorial Day is about “solemnly and honorably recognizing those and remembering those who served in the military and died in action, and those who have served in the military and died since.”
“It’s important people take time out of their day and remember,” Vrabel said. “It’s about stopping what you’re doing and remembering men and women who fought for us and men and women who died for us.”
Poland will host the 47th annual Memorial Day parade and ceremonies on Monday. The opening ceremony will take place at 9:15 a.m. at the American Legion Mahoning Valley Post 15 War Memorial, 35 Cortland St. There also will be a brief ceremony on the Main Street Bridge to honor those lost at sea. The parade will begin at 10 a.m., from the American Legion Mahoning Valley Post 15 and will end at Riverside Cemetery, 110 Riverside Drive. Drivers who own motorcycles, classic cars or convertibles are invited to ride in the parade. To participate, call 330-565-5333.
Poland will also have a grave decoration, 9 a.m. Saturday in Historic Poland Riverside Cemetery, 110 Riverside Drive. Members of American Legion Mahoning Valley Post 15, American Legion Auxiliary Mahoning Valley Unit 15, and Sons of The American Legion Mahoning Valley Squadron 15 will be joined by local girl, boy and cub scouts to place flags on the graves of military veterans.
Canfield will have its 98th annual Memorial Day services 10 a.m. Monday at the gazebo on the Canfield Village Green, Routes 224 and 46. Col. Joe Janik of the Air Force will speak before a procession at the Canfield East Cemetery for a ceremony honoring deceased Canfield veterans. Participants then will return to the Canfield War Vets Museum for a final ceremony. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to be collected and donated to area veterans in need. Dropoff points will be near the gazebo, in front of Canfield Township Hall, 21 S. Broad St.
“The main thing is it’s a remembrance of soldiers and veterans who gave their lives for our country for the freedoms we have today,” said Mike Kubitza, Canfield American Legion Post 177 commander. “It’s more for the remembering for the people who we lost.”
In Austintown there will be a parade at 10 a.m. Monday, from Marc’s, 4755 Mahoning Ave., to Fitch High School, 4560 Falcon Drive, and a Memorial Day service immediately following the parade.
“It’s a wonderful annual event and a great way to honor fallen soldiers who have fought for our freedom we enjoy everyday,” said Jim Davis, Austintown Township trustee chairman. “It’s nice to be able to take that day and that morning of the parade and attend ceremony to honor individual who fought for our freedoms.”
The 2019 camping season began Wednesday and ends Sept. 3 after the Labor Day weekend. The Mill Creek Campground, 7400 Bedell Road, Berlin Center, is open for the first time in many years for Memorial Day weekend. It’s a family campground that has a variety of campsites suitable for either trailer or tent camping. All sites are equipped with a picnic table and fire ring. Campsites with electricity are also available. Prices range from $14 to $24 per night and reservations can be made through Reserve America by going online to Recreation.gov or by calling the toll free reservation line at 1-877-444-6777.
Other communities having Memorial Day parades and events include Boardman, Youngstown, North Jackson, Southington and Washingtonville.
For weather watchers, today will start out sunny then become mostly cloudy as the day progresses. Temperatures will peak in the mid 70s and then drop to the upper 50s tonight.
On Saturday temperatures will peak in the afternoon in the 80s with a mostly cloudy forecast and a 70 percent chance of rain. The day will end in the lower 60s.
Sunday has a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms and will make it to the lower 70s.
Memorial Day will be mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers.