Peabody trying to make the most of a wet holiday

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PEABODY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Residents are planning to make the most of Memorial Day Friday in Peabody after recent and possible future rain caused cancellations for town traditions.

“There is no avenue of flags this year and there is no Memorial Day service,” said Linda Martinez, a Peabody resident.

Martinez has cut hair in the town for eight years. The American Legion group in town actually puts on the events, but she said they had her post the updates to Facebook for them to get the word out.

The avenue of flags, according to Martinez, is when they line the cemetery with flags that are donated by families that had a family member die while in the military. She said they put lights around the bottom of the wooden flag pole, walk them down the old brick streets in town to a cemetery.

“It’s breathtaking, it’s beautiful. Brings me to tears every year,” she said.

The cemetery where they hold a ceremony is nearly 150 years old, and has some deceased veterans in it dating back to the Civil War. Martinez said recent renovations have taken place at the cemetery, and with recent rain, and possible future rain, they didn’t want to chance something going wrong.

“You know they’re old roads,” Martinez said. “We don’t want anybody off into the ditch, off into the grass, you know potentially being stuck and ruining the cemetery.”

However, although those are canceled she said they plan to keep downtown stores open.

“The stores are still going to be open, Fannie Sterling, Porcupine Tea Company, Pop’s Diner, Flint Hill’s Gypsies,” she said.

A Memorial Day dinner that has taken place for about 50 years, according to one resident, is scheduled to happen as well.

“Your choice of ham and beef and corn and beans, just, just a real big dinner,” Ken Parry said, a counselor at the Peabody High School.

The profits from the dinner go to helping the people at the school pay for prom and other things that the sophomore class needs when they become seniors. However, Parry said the dinner is going to be more than that this year since other traditions were canceled.

“We’ve done the Memorial Day dinner forever,” Parry said. “We thought, well, if people are not going to go to the lakes, if they can’t go out to the cemeteries, then maybe they’ll come here and we can still have a nice dinner and give some people a place to visit indoors and out of the rain.”

With downtown open and dinner served, Parry said they’re doing what they can to come together and make the most out of the holiday.

“It’s making the best out of a bad situation,” he said.

According to Linda Martinez the flags will fly downtown as normal, and she said she was told if the gates are closed at the cemetery, then it is completely closed for the holiday. However, if they are open she said people can go visit as they please.