BANGOR-BREWER, Maine — The smiles, the waves, the applause that goes on and on. It’s an unparalleled experience say those who take part in Bangor parades — especially the veterans.

Cole Land Transportation Museum gets the word out to thousands of veterans before each Fourth of July parade, and this year is no different. Volunteers are urging those with military service to take their place, whether marching by war era or riding on a Cyr bus, in the parade that will start at 11 a.m. at the corner of Wilson Street and Acme Road in Brewer.

The parade will form at 10 a.m. with World War II veterans at the head of the military group followed by Korean War veterans, Vietnam War veterans and Global War on Terror veterans. National Guard and Reserve veterans should join era groups in which they served. Cold War veterans have their choice, since their era covers 1945-1991.

“Come parade with the veterans in the morning; celebrate with your family in the afternoon,” museum founder and WWII veteran Galen Cole wrote in a recent letter to veterans who have received walking sticks from the museum. “Never forget that from the Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism, you and your families sacrificed to keep America free. You deserve the recognition!”

Cole said Monday that he particularly wanted to invite the 350 members of the Maine Air National Guard 101st Refueling Wing who were honored on Sunday. The Air Guard members who served in 2009 in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait were recognized in a Hometown Heroes ceremony, which included a presentation of walking sticks to each one by Cole.

Veterans and service members may park their vehicles at Brewer Auditorium. Space along Wilson Street from the football field to the lawn beside the swimming pool will be reserved for veterans to form in rows of eight.

Cyr Bus of Old Town will provide three school buses for veterans unable to walk the 1½-mile parade route, Cole said. These buses will follow the walking veterans and help any veteran having difficulty during the walk. The buses will be located on Wilson Street in

Brewer on or beside the sidewalk where veterans form before the parade and stop by TD Bank in Bangor afterward on their way back to Brewer.

For veterans parking their vehicles near Exchange Street in Bangor before the parade, Cyr buses will pick them up at 9:15 a.m. on Exchange Street beside TD Bank and take them to Brewer Auditorium for the parade. For those who park in Brewer, buses

will return them to Brewer Auditorium.

Parade units will proceed down Wilson Street in Brewer, across the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, turn right to go down Main Street in Bangor, then up State Street and right on Exchange

Street. The buses will be marked for veterans. More than one trip may be necessary to get veterans back to Brewer.

The Bangor-Brewer area will offer a variety of other activities as well, from a pancake breakfast and a barbecue to a Bangor Band concert and, of course, fireworks at dusk.

BANGOR AREA — Fourth of July parade, sponsored by Bangor, Bangor Breakfast, Brewer, Hampden and Orono-Old Town Kiwanis clubs, 11 a.m. July 4, junction of Acme Road and Wilson Street, Brewer, down Wilson Street, across Chamberlain Bridge, turn right down Main Street in Bangor, up State Street, right onto Exchange Street, disband by TD Bank. Floats, music, entertainment, veterans groups, Scouts, Scout leaders. Veterans to march by era, meet 10 a.m. Wilson Street, Brewer, or take Cyr buses from Exchange Street, Bangor, at 9:15 a.m. to ride to Brewer. Veterans may ride buses during parade. Buses will take veterans back to their cars afterward for those who park in Brewer.

BREWER — Walter L. Hunt Memorial Race, 10:45 a.m. July 4, Brewer Auditorium, Wilson Street.

BANGOR — Kiwanis Fourth of July Barbecue, 3-8 p.m. July 4, Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot, Main Street. Hamburger basket, cheeseburger basket or hot dog basket with chips and soda or water, $3.75. Raffle tickets for leather golf bag from Maine Distributors or basketball hoop with netted sides, $1 each or six for $5.

BANGOR — Bangor Band, Independence Day concert, 7 p.m. July 4, Paul Bunyan Park bandstand, Main Street. Attendees encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

BANGOR AREA — Fireworks sponsored by Bangor Area Fourth of July Corp., dusk, over Penobscot River between Bangor and Brewer.

BREWER — Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast, 6-10 a.m. July 4, Brewer Auditorium. Strawberries from Tate’s strawberry farm, coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts of Brewer, canopy tent from Maine Equipment rental, sausage from Hormel, contributions from Farmland, Dennis Paper and Food Service, and Hilton Garden Inn. $4.50, $3.50 age 12 and under.

BROOKS — Fourth of July activities: community breakfast, 7:30 p.m., Varney Building; a 5-mile run (and 5k walk), 8 a.m., sign-in 7 a.m., Brooks Community Park; town parade, 10 a.m. Also at the park: horse pull, children’s events, pig scramble, chicken barbecue and chili cook-off featuring finest chili from area Waldo County fire departments, live music from Belfast Bay Fiddlers, The Rugged, and Don Nickerson and Country Mist; fireworks celebration, 10 p.m. Gate price at the park, $2, free age 12 and under.

Roxanne Moore Saucier

Family Ties columnist