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Ninety-five-year-old Robert Kanter, who earned a purple heart with the 101st Airborne Division in World War II, was honored with a float sponsored by his son, Lakewood Ranch Dental owner Michael Kanter.

East County embraces its heroes in Lakewood Ranch

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Ninety-five-year-old Robert Kanter, who earned a purple heart with the 101st Airborne Division in World War II, was honored with a float sponsored by his son, Lakewood Ranch Dental owner Michael Kanter.

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University Place's Ava Gilbank and Lakewood Ranch's Kaelyn Zabikow met just before the parade began but they had time to do a little dancing on Lakewood Main Street.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

University Place's Ava Gilbank and Lakewood Ranch's Kaelyn Zabikow met just before the parade began but they had time to do a little dancing on Lakewood Main Street.

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Navy veteran Ken Green was part of the Honor Guard that saluted the veterans and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Navy veteran Ken Green was part of the Honor Guard that saluted the veterans and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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Lakewood Ranch 2-year-old Hartley Eliason loves the taste of patriotism.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Lakewood Ranch 2-year-old Hartley Eliason loves the taste of patriotism.

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Creekwood 1-year-old Jaxon Barnes is having a ball and the parade hasn't even started.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Creekwood 1-year-old Jaxon Barnes is having a ball and the parade hasn't even started.

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Sarasota's Erika Miller sang the National Anthem for the third consecutive time at the Tribute to Heroes Parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Sarasota's Erika Miller sang the National Anthem for the third consecutive time at the Tribute to Heroes Parade.

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Eight-year-old Jaxon Miklavic, 8-year-old Dominick Carroll and 11-year-old Zachary Post are ready to represent East Manatee Bulldogs and throw beads during the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Eight-year-old Jaxon Miklavic, 8-year-old Dominick Carroll and 11-year-old Zachary Post are ready to represent East Manatee Bulldogs and throw beads during the parade.

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East County 9-year-old Christie Humphreys and Sarasota 9-year-old Allegria Ferreira had big responsbilities for Troop 42 in the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

East County 9-year-old Christie Humphreys and Sarasota 9-year-old Allegria Ferreira had big responsbilities for Troop 42 in the parade.

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An empty chair was left on a float for the late Le Smith, a Vietnam veteran.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

An empty chair was left on a float for the late Le Smith, a Vietnam veteran.

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Lakewood Ranch 8-year-old Alexander Miller spent all day getting his bike ready for the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Lakewood Ranch 8-year-old Alexander Miller spent all day getting his bike ready for the parade.

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Lakewood Ranch 5-year-old Alex Stark shows off his entry in the decorated bicycle contest.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Lakewood Ranch 5-year-old Alex Stark shows off his entry in the decorated bicycle contest.

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Lakewood Ranch 5-year-old Jackson Miller didn't let the heat bother him when it came to riding his decorated bike.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Lakewood Ranch 5-year-old Jackson Miller didn't let the heat bother him when it came to riding his decorated bike.

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Creekwood's Thomas Carter, a retired captain with the 82nd Airborne Division and a special forces soldier, enjoys a meal for the veterans at Town Hall.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Creekwood's Thomas Carter, a retired captain with the 82nd Airborne Division and a special forces soldier, enjoys a meal for the veterans at Town Hall.

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Richard Rajsky of the Gulf Coast Corvette Club enjoys a spread at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall before the parade. The Corvette club supplied cars for the veterans to ride in during the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Richard Rajsky of the Gulf Coast Corvette Club enjoys a spread at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall before the parade. The Corvette club supplied cars for the veterans to ride in during the parade.

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Greenbrook's Ernie Freedman is a former Navy medic who was raising money for VFW Braden River Post 12055.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Greenbrook's Ernie Freedman is a former Navy medic who was raising money for VFW Braden River Post 12055.

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Lindsey Hyer and Kyla Munoz, Lakewood Ranch High juniors and members of the Key Club, volunteered to put out American flags before the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Lindsey Hyer and Kyla Munoz, Lakewood Ranch High juniors and members of the Key Club, volunteered to put out American flags before the parade.

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Lakewood Ranch's Mary Anne Poulton and her mom, Tara Poulton, salute the veterans.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Lakewood Ranch's Mary Anne Poulton and her mom, Tara Poulton, salute the veterans.

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Grand Marshall Dave Daily of Mill Creek thanks the crowd for supporting the veterans.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Grand Marshall Dave Daily of Mill Creek thanks the crowd for supporting the veterans.

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Vietnam veteran Charlie Busack gets his ride down Main Street in a Corvette.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Vietnam veteran Charlie Busack gets his ride down Main Street in a Corvette.

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Del Webb's Herman Martinez, a Vietnam veteran, waves to the crowd.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Del Webb's Herman Martinez, a Vietnam veteran, waves to the crowd.

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The Gulf Coast Corvette Club provided the rides.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

The Gulf Coast Corvette Club provided the rides.

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Vietnam veteran Ernie Wawrowics was one of the many veterans honored during the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Vietnam veteran Ernie Wawrowics was one of the many veterans honored during the parade.

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Vietnam veteran Fred Chapman brought his own little American flag to wave.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Vietnam veteran Fred Chapman brought his own little American flag to wave.

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Eagle Trace's Ned Fishman is honored for his service in Vietnam during the Tribute to Heroes Parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Eagle Trace's Ned Fishman is honored for his service in Vietnam during the Tribute to Heroes Parade.

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The Lakewood Ranch High Marching Band was back in the Tribute to Heroes Parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

The Lakewood Ranch High Marching Band was back in the Tribute to Heroes Parade.

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The marching Mustangs thrilled the crowd with their big sound.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

The marching Mustangs thrilled the crowd with their big sound.

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An earlier parade date opened up the opportunity for the Mustangs to return as one of the parade's highlights.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

An earlier parade date opened up the opportunity for the Mustangs to return as one of the parade's highlights.

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The Lakewood Ranch High Marching Band rocked Lakewood Main Street.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

The Lakewood Ranch High Marching Band rocked Lakewood Main Street.

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The Lakewood Ranch JROTC marched in the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

The Lakewood Ranch JROTC marched in the parade.

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The parade route became a funnel as spectators moved closer to those who marched.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

The parade route became a funnel as spectators moved closer to those who marched.

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Miss Lakewood Ranch Little Sister Hope Thomsen, 12, and Miss Sarasota Little Sister Lauren Dalton, 13, were honored with a ride during the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Miss Lakewood Ranch Little Sister Hope Thomsen, 12, and Miss Sarasota Little Sister Lauren Dalton, 13, were honored with a ride during the parade.

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Venice's Robert Heggan marches with the New World Celts.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Venice's Robert Heggan marches with the New World Celts.

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Russ Sexton of the Model T Shriners makes his way through the parade route to the delight of the crowd.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Russ Sexton of the Model T Shriners makes his way through the parade route to the delight of the crowd.

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East County veteran Jennifer Webber is honored with beads by Crewe of De Soto's Donnie Olmsted.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

East County veteran Jennifer Webber is honored with beads by Crewe of De Soto's Donnie Olmsted.

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Mark Hildebrandt leads the Crewe of De Soto down Main Street.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Mark Hildebrandt leads the Crewe of De Soto down Main Street.

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The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance was in the house with staff members Amy Treis and Dan Sidler.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance was in the house with staff members Amy Treis and Dan Sidler.

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A Florida Forest Service Truck let the children get close to some heavy machinery.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

A Florida Forest Service Truck let the children get close to some heavy machinery.

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Beads and candy flew off the many floats.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Beads and candy flew off the many floats.

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Keith Pandeloglou, the director of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities, was still smiling after a long day setting up the parade.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

Keith Pandeloglou, the director of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities, was still smiling after a long day setting up the parade.

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A horse-draw carriage carrying a soldier's coffin closed the parade as always.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

A horse-draw carriage carrying a soldier's coffin closed the parade as always.

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No one had more spirit than the East Manatee Bulldogs.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

No one had more spirit than the East Manatee Bulldogs.

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The Observer staff once again had the honor of carrying Old Faithful.

Monday, May 20, 2019 |

The Observer staff once again had the honor of carrying Old Faithful.

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