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Exley ready to lead parade

POSTED: November 16, 2009 6:45 p.m.

The Rincon Noon Lions Club is making preparations for its 30th annual Christmas Parade, to be held on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at Macomber Park.

Parade organizer Danny Fries Sr., who has organized the parade for the last several years, said the parade should be a great one again this year.

Valdee Exley, 88 years old, will be the grand marshal, followed by a 56-man color guard unit from Fort Stewart. Fries said the parade is usually made up of between 50-70 units and that entry for floats or units is free.

Exley said his duties as grand marshal are to “sit there and wave.” He is a decorated World War II veteran, having flown missions in a B-24 Liberator over France and Germany.

In one particularly memorable mission, Exley’s flight firebombed a German submarine off the coast of France. He has four daughters, eight grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He also has 54 continuous years of Sunday School attendance.

Fries said there are still openings in the parade and any churches, scout troops, or businesses or other organizations, should be sure and call in to get their spot secured. Parade day will begin at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Hinely Center on Highway 21. The breakfast will have all you can eat pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice.

After leaving Macomber Park, the parade goes down Lexington, takes a right on 4th St. Extension, takes a left on Highway 21 and proceeds south to 9th street and then takes a left at the Hinely Building. All parade participants should be at Macomber by 8:45 a.m. Anyone with animals in the parade should have them at the Lions Club Building no later than 9 a.m.

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