IRONTON, Ohio (WTVN) -- Every year since 1868, Ironton has recognized Memorial Day - or Decoration Day as it was originally called - with a parade.

"It's the oldest continuous Memorial Day parade in the nation," said Lou Pyles, a member of the committee that organizes the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade.

The parade also serves as a homecoming for the Ohio River community of 11,000 with many people planning family reunions, high school class reunions, or even weddings around the event.

"Rain or shine we open that parade at 10 o'clock," said Pyles. "We've never missed a year."

She expects 30,000 people to watch and another 2,000 to 3,000 to participate in the parade.

"It's a wonderful feeling when you walk through the streets of that parade and you see the people that are so deep and they're waving flags and clapping and thanking veterans," she said.

For the first time, the parade will be streamed live on the internet and broadcast live on local television. Pyles says it's a way to let native-Irontonians experience a slice of home if they can't make it back.

(Photo courtesy City of Ironton)