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Schenectady County Announces 109th Airlift Wing as Parade Grand Marshal

Holiday Parade Grand Marshal Announcement - 109th Airlift Wing

109th Airlift Wing is Celebrating 75 years this Year, to be Honored in Holiday Parade

The City and County of Schenectady are honored to announce this year’s Grand Marshal for the 54th Annual Holiday Parade, which will step off on Saturday, November 18, 2023 in downtown Schenectady.

Celebrating 75 years, the 109th Airlift Wing represents hundreds of men and women members of the New York Air National Guard. Only a year after the Air Force itself was born, the 109th was established in 1948 as a fighter unit. Through six different types of aircraft, the leadership of 11 outstanding commanders, and ever-changing missions, the men and women of the 109th have succeeded in deploying statewide, worldwide and from North Pole to South Pole. The Unit relocated to the Schenectady County Airport in 1949, and has been home here ever since. The hardworking and brave men and women of the 109th Airlift Wing are this year’s Grand Marshal for the Holiday Parade.

Serving from Schenectady County and representing New York, the selection of the 109th befits this year’s theme “New York State of Mind.”

“Schenectady County takes great pride in being the home of the 109th Airlift Wing, and as a fitting tribute to their 75th anniversary, we are honored to have them serve as the Grand Marshal of our holiday parade,” said Schenectady County Legislator Holly Vellano, Chair of the Military Affairs & Veterans Committee. “This celebration not only marks their incredible milestone but also acknowledges the invaluable service they provide to our country and local community.”

"The 109th Airlift Wing is honored to be chosen as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Holiday Parade,” said Colonel Christian E. Sander, Wing Commander of the 109th Airlift Wing. We are proud to have called Schenectady County home for the last 75 years and look forward to continuing our service to country and community in the years to come."

Applications are open now for the Northeast’s largest nighttime parade for groups to participate with their most clever and state-doting themed floats. Each group will have an opportunity to perform for 45 seconds in front of the reviewing stand which will be in front of Proctors Theatre on State Street. Last year over 115 organizations participated.

“Come be a part of the largest nighttime parade in the Northeast – a fantastic, family-friendly event that kicks off the holiday season,” said Schenectady County Legislator Cathy Gatta, Chair of the Tourism, Arts & Special Events Committee. “What makes this parade truly special is the unity of our entire community, gathering to share in the festivities and make cherished memories together.”

The event is produced under the leadership of the City and County of Schenectady, and in partnership with the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation, The Capital Region Chamber, and Discover Schenectady.

Applications are available at Entrance fees are $100 or $75 for non-profit organizations. Applications and fees must be submitted or postmarked no later than October 27, 2023. Online payment will be available for the first time this year.

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