PALMYRA, Mo. -- As part of Palmyra's 200th anniversary, the city is turning its customary Flag Day event into a more festive Old Glory Day celebration on Saturday.
"Because it's our bicentennial, we decided to perk it up a little bit and add some things to it and have a big celebration," said Nancy Goellner, who is organizing Saturday's program with Madonna Watters and Kelsie Lovelace.
Old Glory Day will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. in the area around the Marion County Courthouse in downtown Palmyra. That's a big change from the usual Flag Day event, which is typically held in the morning and early afternoon.
Goellner said organizers decided to change to a late afternoon/evening schedule because they wanted to add a musical component to the lineup. BANJOY, an award-winning bluegrass band from Iowa, will give a free concert at 7 p.m. on a stage at the corner of Dickerson and Main Cross Street.
"We're excited to have them," Goellner said.
Another big event will be the Old Glory Day parade, which begins at 6 p.m. from the Palmyra High School parking lot. Goellner said she's hoping the parade will be "bigger and better" with an array of entries, including antique cars, antique tractors, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Boy Scouts, businesses, Marion County queens, Freedom Riders on motorcycles and even a group of former "Poppy Girls" riding in a trolly.
Willis Pete Fee, a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1972, will be the parade marshal.
Goellner said anyone is welcome to participate in the parade by just showing up. Advance registration is not necessary.
After the parade, a flag-raising ceremony will be held on the courthouse lawn in keeping with the day's patriotic theme.
"There will be flags all over the place," Goellner said.
Starting at 3 p.m., various food, art and craft vendors will be stationed on the courthouse square selling their wares.
"We'll have anything from chicken-wrapped bacon on a stick to ice cream to Cajun catfish," Goellner said.
A petting zoo, pony rides and a bounce house also will be available, and the Heritage Seekers will offer old-fashioned games from 2 to 4 p.m. at Big Spring Park across from the courthouse.
"It's going to be a great afternoon and evening," Goellner said.