Unity Day parade gets set to roll in Lakewood

Unity Day parade gets
set to roll in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD — The third annual Unity Day Parade will make its way through Lakewood on Sunday.

According to information provided by Mirta Marsala, president of Crystal ROF (Responsibility and Obligation Founda-tion), which organized the parade, the purpose of the event is to bring the many communities of Lakewood together in a display of cooperation and mutual involve-ment.

"Many leaders talk about people getting along with each other, but they don’t seem to get along with each other for one reason or another. … We are trying to change all that," said information that Marsala sent to the Tri-Town News.

"Everyone is invited to come and share unity with us," Marsala said. "Unity means peace and that’s what we all need — peace."

This year’s parade will pay homage to veterans of war.

"We have a veteran representing World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Desert Storm," said Marsala. "Each [veteran] will receive a plaque from Sen. [Robert] Singer in a recognition of their service to our country. They defend our country when we need them most."

The ceremony will take place at the conclusion of the parade.

One of those veterans, Samuel Tirado, a veteran of Desert Storm, will share duties as master of ceremonies with Maria Del Pilar, a hostess on Telemundo television.

The parade floats will begin their procession at 1:30 p.m., beginning at Clifton Avenue and 11th Street, and then will continue along Route 88 before terminating at Lake Carasaljo Park.

There will also be a contingent of motorcycles in the parade ridden by people from all over the state, said Marsala.

Singer, who is a member of the Town-ship Committee as well as a state senator, confirmed that he will be the parade’s grand marshall. He said he has been a supporter of the event since its inception.

"I’m very excited" to be participating, said Singer. "It’s an expression of pride in the Mexican/Latino community [and I will be] riding on one of the floats."

Other supporters of the parade include the Township Committee, the Lakewood Police Department, the Lakewood Com-munity Center and local businesses.

Featured performers will include the Hector Montalvo Orchestra, model Tatiana Segura, and Secreto Mix, a band that will play a cross-section of music that Marsala promises will appeal to everybody. A marching band from Panama will lend color and musical virtuosity to the event.

A dance competition will showcase entrants’ artistic talent as well as endurance since the winning couple will be the one that stays in the competition the longest.

The fun and festivities will continue with games, raffles and souvenir concessions, as well as a sampling of foods from countries throughout the world for the culinarily adventurous parade spectator.

Unity Day will conclude at 6 p.m.

In the event of rain, the parade will be held on Aug. 24. For further information call (732) 473-9396.

— Joyce Blay