McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 4, 2013

McAlester gets cold, wet weather during AFD celebration

By Rachel Petersen
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Those who lined up on Choctaw Avenue on Saturday morning to watch the Armed Forces Day Parade were bundled in coats, scarves and gloves.

“It’s freezing,” said one young boy to his mother just after 10 a.m., before the parade began.

But when the festivities started, and the floats traveled past, the young boy could be seen smiling and waving to those in the parade.

The parade lasted about 45 minutes, and got started with a six-car police escort. Many military men and women, including representatives from the US. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, were part of the parade.

Toward the beginning of the parade, a group of military men marched in cadence and wow’d the crowd. Another crowd-pleaser was the Pride of McAlester High School Marching Band.

Toward the end of the parade, the crowd heard the sirens and watched as many fire department engines and vehicles drove past.

After the parade was complete, many participating in the AFD celebration headed over to the McAlester airport and ate hot dogs and watched two men jump out of an airplane and parachute down. The temperature cooled off and rain droplets began to fall around the time the parachuters jumped from the plane.

Onlookers were waiting to see the parachuters land at the airport, but one landed in the trees behind Lowe’s and another landed closer to U.S. Highway 69. Both men were found safe, according to McAlester police radio traffic.

Contact Rachel Petersen at

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