The parade, which is a culmination of the work of the Forest Hills Kiwanis, TD Bank, Forest Hills Times and the American Legion, will occur on Sunday, May 28, at non at Metropolitan and Ascan avenues.
Throughout the day, several businesses along Metropolitan Avenue will offer discounts and samples.
Tom Long, commanding officer of American Legion Post 1424, said that he was on the verge of stopping the parade a few years ago because the expenses were too great. However, over the last two to three years, he’s noticed that the parade has been “on the upwards.”
The most obvious standout is that organizers are now able to afford more and more bands to march in the parade, especially with the help of donations from the community and sponsored local businesses.
“This has always been a community parade, but in recent year, it’s become more of a community-supported parade,” Long said.
Grand marshals Michael Perlman and Major Michael Dunne attended last week's event.
“I feel honored to march in the upcoming parade as a grand marshal and in the name of veterans who have dedicated their lives to defend our country,” said Perlman, author of “Legendary Locals of Forest Hills and Rego Park” and a fifth-generation Forest Hills resident.
Dunne, a lifelong resident of Rego Park and Forest Hills, said he initially thought his selection was an April Fool's joke, as Long broke the news to him on April 1. But when he finally realized that organizers actually chose him, he felt honored to be able to pay his respects to fellow veterans in this way.
“This parade is a hallowed, sacred American tradition that must always go on,” Dunne added. “It’s not about any of us. It’s about the service members, firefighters, police officers and EMS workers who died in the line of duty. This is their day.”