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New Richmond welcomes 2018 VFW State Loyalty Day Parade

Officers of the St. Croix County Mounted Posse rode in the Loyalty Day Parade Saturday in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 20
An ever increasing number of veterans are beginning to reach out for the care they deserve. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 20
Members of the VFW Post 10818 New Richmond / St. Croix County Color Guard presented the colors Saturday, April 28, at the 2018 VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 20
The New Richmond High School Marching Tigers belted out a medley of military songs to pace a large contingent of parade participants at Saturday’s 2018 VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 4 / 20
The Loyalty Day Parade would not be a proper parade without a Huey. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 5 / 20
The leadership of community law enforcement united in their support for veterans at Saturday’s Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond. (From left) North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert, St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson, Roberts Police Chief Aaron McWilliams, New Richmond Police Chief Craig Yehlik, Hammond Police Chief Rick Coltrain and Somerset Police Chief Tom Sirovatka. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 6 / 20
VFW Post 5780 Weyerhaeuser made a splash at the Loyalty Day Parade with their fire engine entrance Saturday in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 7 / 20
The VFW Department of Wisconsin Honor Guard presented the colors Saturday, April 28, at the 2018 VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 8 / 20
Members of the American Legion Butler-Harmon Post 80 color guard presented the colors Saturday, April 28, at the 2018 VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia9 / 20
A traveling tribute to service members who have given lives in service to our country. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 10 / 20
Members of Star Prairie Royalty showed their support for Loyalty Day at the parade Saturday in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 11 / 20
Long time Veterans Service Officer Merlin Blaisdell (with his wife Denise) served as Grand Marshal for the 2018 VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 12 / 20
Uncle Sam didn’t miss the opportunity to participate in the 2018 VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond Saturday, April 28, in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 13 / 20
Loyalty starts young, as evidenced by this patriotic young man at the Loyalty Day parade Saturday, April 28 in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 14 / 20
The colorful Klondike Kates lent their voices to the Loyalty Day Parade celebration in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 15 / 20
Believet.org provides veterans with K-9 service partners to help them combat the effects of PTSD. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia16 / 20
Sunny skies and American flags greeted VFW and American Legion posts from all over the state as they gathered Saturday, April 28, to participate in the 2018 VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia17 / 20
The need to take care of our veterans has never been greater. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 18 / 20
Members of Star Prairie Royalty showed the support for Loyalty Day at the parade Saturday in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 19 / 20
Loyalty lives here in New Richmond. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia 20 / 20

Sunny skies and American flags greeted VFW and American Legion posts from all over the state as they gathered Saturday, April 28, to participate in the 2018 VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade in New Richmond.

A patriotic crowd waved, cheered and saluted as veteran color guards marched down main street accompanied by Grand Marshal Merlin Blaisdell, Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs Daniel Zimmerman and Wisconsin VFW Commander John Schultz.

The New Richmond High School Marching Tigers belted out a medley of military songs to pace a large contingent of parade participants including the Klondike Kates, Believet Service Dogs, New Richmond Boy Scout Troop 464, St. Croix County Sheriff's Office mounted division, and police chiefs representing five community departments.

However, the VFW Wisconsin State Loyalty Day Parade was not the only excitement taking place last Saturday. In the months leading up to the parade, Wanda Viellieux, with the help of the VFW Auxiliary, solicited the participation of numerous business owners in a window display contest illustrating the theme of this year's parade, "United We Stand, We Will Not Be Divided." Displays will remain up through May 1, in honor of the official Loyalty Day as proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and first observed May 1, 1955.

Champs Sports Bar & Grill generated the initial buzz a few weeks prior to the parade with their full-size window displays. Eighteen additional businesses followed suit culminating in the winners being announced at the American Legion Hall Saturday afternoon following the parade. A panel of five judges awarded prizes to the winners; Dairy Queen, Champs Sports Bar & Grill, Wild Badger Sports Saloon, Laundry Village, and WITC-NR campus.

A number of other businesses unofficially supported the contest and Loyalty Day by displaying flags and other items in their business windows.

Viellieux wished to express her deep appreciation to the entire business community for supporting the VFW and Auxiliary in so many ways.

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