The village of Dexter's longstanding Memorial Day festivities will continue this year under the umbrella leadership of a new organization.
The Dexter Village Council approved an application from the Rotary Club to conduct a parade and ceremony on May 27 at its meeting on Monday.
The club is taking over planning of the event from American Legion Post 557. Legion members informed the village in January of their intent to scale back sponsorship of the Memorial Day parade.
Rotary member Steve Feinman said in the coming weeks, club members will reach out to local organizations and civic groups interested in participating in this year's parade.
"We want to work with any group that wants to walk in the parade," Feinman said. "We'd like to see more community participation overall. Memorial Day is not just about remembering those who died, but also remembering those who fought in all wars, and what they fought for — preserving the freedom our community enjoys."
In an effort to refocus the event on local veterans, some community groups were excluded from participating in the parade last in year, a decision Feinman said Rotary members will evaluate for this year's event.
"We will have some restrictions, but we want those groups who represent our community to feel welcome in the parade," he said.
Addressing concerns that the parade is too long, Feinman said he disagrees.
"What's too long if people are interested in participating?" he said. "When I moved to Dexter in 2008, the first thing I saw was the community come together for the Memorial Day parade. It was like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. (The Rotary Club) believes it is necessary and important to preserve that tradition in Dexter."
The parade will run down Main Street, ending on Alpine Street. Feinman said following the parade, a program will be held at the gazebo in Monument Park.
Guidelines for this year's parade will be posted online by the end of February.