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Chester County Press

Kennett Memorial Day Parade will include Spanish and English broadcasts, new parking and shuttle options to increase access

Photo courtesy of Kennett Collaborative

Kennett Collaborative announced details on the upcoming Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27 at 10 a.m. Thousands of residents and visitors are expected to participate. The addition of a Spanish-speaking announcer and a shuttle bus from Oxford to Kennett Square along with remote parking at Unionville High School aim for a more accessible and inclusive parade for the greater Kennett community.

The Memorial Day parade seeks to honor America's military men and women who lost their lives in service to their country, and also to celebrate the freedoms and people they fought for. This year’s participants include veterans riding in classic cars, impressive military vehicles, local and regional marching bands, historical reenactors, Aztec dancers, charros on horseback, Chinese folk dancers, and more.

“We work hard to create events in Kennett where everyone can come together and feel welcome and included,” said Mary Kay Gaver, chair of Kennett Collaborative’s board of directors. “We’re proud to be a part of a local tradition that means so much to the Kennett community.”

This year, an announcer will broadcast in Spanish at the 500 block of South Union Street. English announcers will be located in the 100 block of West State Street and at the intersection of South Union and Magnolia Streets.

The Kennett Memorial Day Parade will recognize local veterans Mark A. "Pete" Peterson and Lester "Les" Brown as its Grand Marshals.

Peterson enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969 and did a combat tour in Vietnam with the 3rd Battalion 1st Marines. Peterson was also involved in combat operations during the Grenada student rescue operation, Beirut, Lebanon and the first Gulf war. Following his 22-year Marine Corps career, Peterson worked for 25 years at Boeing.

Les Brown enlisted in the Army in 1965. During the Vietnam War he was responsible for maintaining aircraft that conducted reconnaissance missions and supported the South Vietnamese Army. Following his service, Brown started a 41-year career with United Airlines.

“We’re so happy to recognize Pete and Les for their incredible service,” said Gaver, “I’ve known Les for many years as the consummate unsung hero who just makes everything better and easier for everyone around him.”

Tribute Ceremonies

In addition to the parade, folks are invited to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers at the following ceremonies:

  • VFW Tribute Ceremony, 8:30 a.m., VFW Post 5467, 704 W Baltimore Pike;
  • WWI Monument Tribute Ceremony, 9:15 a.m., Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center, 409 Center St.;
  • Memorial Ceremony at the conclusion of the parade, Union Hill Cemetery, 424 N Union St.

Both the VFW and the American Legion in Kennett offer a free lunch to veterans and their families following the parade.

Free Parking and Shuttle Information

Ample free parking is available at Unionville High School with a shuttle running on a continuous loop to Kennett Library until 12:15 pm. Free parking is also available at the Borough’s municipal garage on East Linden Street.

New this year, parade sponsor Krapf School Bus will provide a free shuttle between Oxford and Kennett. The shuttle will depart Oxford Library Company at 8 a.m. making stops at Avon Grove Library, Avondale Apartments, St. Rocco Church, and Mighty Writers El Futuro Kennett and a drop off/pick up point near the parade at Center Street and Las Rosas Drive. Return shuttles depart at 11:30 a.m. and noon.

Full schedules, a route map, and additional information is available at

Volunteer Collaboration

In Kennett Square, a parade of this size and bringing together so many different people could only be possible through the efforts of numerous volunteers.

“We’re so grateful for the committee and all of our partners who have made the Kennett Memorial Day Parade a cherished tradition. I have attended the parade with my family for decades, so I understand the significance of this occasion and the community spirit it embodies,” said Mary Lou Baily, Kennett Collaborative’s event coordinator. “We’re especially grateful to Casa Guanajuato and Krapf School Bus for helping us coordinate the shuttles and for their community outreach.”

“We’d like to thank our partners at the American Legion and VFW. They are the real backbone of this parade,” said Daniel Embree, Executive Director of Kennett Collaborative. “Special thanks to our donors and especially our lead parade sponsors: Longwood Gardens, Chatham Financial, Taylor Oil & Propane, Mushroom Farmers of Pennsylvania, and the Mushroom Festival.”

More to do in Kennett Square

“There’s always a lot to do in Kennett!” added Embree, “So if you’re visiting for the parade, we hope you come early and linger long!”

On Memorial Day, some businesses will be closed so their staff can enjoy the parade too, but many will be open. We recommend calling ahead to confirm when making plans, but Kennett Collaborative offers a few safe bets:

Looking for Coffee? Try Mary Pats Provisions, Philter Coffee, or Cafe Emis.

Looking for Lunch? Try the Market at Liberty Place, Hank’s Place, or Victory Brewing.

Visiting Longwood Gardens? It’s a great weekend to visit Longwood Gardens! Timed tickets or member reservations are required, and space is likely to sell out.