Perfect weather and high spirits for the Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade
By J. Chambless
Reenactors fire muskets along the parade route. (Photo by Chris Barber)
As in most small towns, practically everyone at the Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade knew a few other people there. Spirits were high because folks knew this was traditionally the borough’s biggest and most spectacular parade. Many of the visitors even arrived an hour before the 10 a.m. starting time, and a good number brought folding chairs.
They were well rewarded for their diligence.
As the crowd grew, the streets were lined two and three deep from the start to the end of the procession -- from the high school, through town and out North Union Street for a memorial service in the cemetery.
The marchers appeared at 10 a.m. sharp. From the beginning to the end, the participants appeared well organized and well turned-out. The mood, appropriately for the holiday, was upbeat and yet respectful. Many traditions from the past years remained.
The Boy Scouts issued tiny flags to the children watching shortly before the beginning.
Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh and her friends sang oldies as the Andrews Sisters from the World War II era. Likewise, the color guard, composed of local veterans, led the marchers.
People were happy to see the Mummers Ferko String Band, and they clapped along while the group marched by, playing their banjoes, guitars and saxophones. The Kennett and Unionville high school bands likewise were well-received, and their band fronts waved banners that caught the mild breezes of the day.
There was a host of antique cars as well as Scout groups and Little Leaguers. Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick greeted the crowd from an antique convertible, as did the grand marshals, Al DiNorscia and Harry Collins.
Several martial arts groups came by, led by dragons that swooped down, face-to-face, with viewers. Bringing up the end of the parade were fire company vehicles from Kennett, Avondale, Po-Mar-Lin, Hockessin and West Grove, as well as the Blittersdorf giant tow vehicles.
The hour-and-a-half parade concluded with a memorial ceremony in the Union Hill Cemetery.
As in past years, the parade and ceremony were organized by hometown veteran and businessman, Bill Taylor.