After a two-year hiatus, the return of the area’s biggest hometown parade on May 30th will be nothing short of triumphant.
Kennett Square loves a parade, and the 2022 Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade promises to be a fun, family-friendly event with something for everyone. Over a dozen marching bands and musical groups will participate, including the Ferko String Band (Mummers) and the Philadelphia Eagles Pep Band (who sing the Eagles’ fight song “Fly Eagles Fly”) as well as bagpipers, fife and drum corps, drum and bugle corps, high-school bands, and more.
The parade honors our veterans, and many veterans will be part of the parade, riding in antique convertibles. “All veterans are encouraged to participate,” says longtime parade organizer Bill Taylor. Spectators will also enjoy seeing dancers, classic cars, colorful floats created by various community organizations, historic re-enactors, vintage military equipment, fire trucks, a Viking ship, and much more.
New to the parade this year will be the six-time world champion Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps from Princeton, NJ. The 50–75 members of the Bushwackers will be practicing at the Kennett High School football field on Sunday, May 29, during daytime hours (8am–4pm). This practice will be open to the public.
“The parade is something for the whole family to enjoy,” says local realtor and parade committee member Luis Tovar. From the popular Aztec dancers to charros on horseback, Chinese folk dancers, and more, this year’s parade will include a great variety of culturally diverse participants.
The Grand Marshalls for the 2022 Memorial Day Parade are Alfred “Ray” Coe, Jr. and Edward B. Fourney. Coe was Commander of a Sheridan tank in Vietnam and earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Fourney, who served in Korea as a Master Mechanic in the Army Truck Fleet Service from 1952 to 1954, is a recipient of the National Defense Service Medal.
It’s his passion for remembering those who fought for our freedom that has motivated Taylor to organize the Memorial Day Parade every year since 2005. “It’s important for young people to learn the history of this day and have an appreciation for our veterans who fought to protect our freedom,” Taylor says.
Taylor is retiring this year and passing the baton to a new Memorial Day Parade Development Committee comprised of 20 community members. While it may take a few dozen people to fill Taylor’s shoes, the committee is enthusiastic and grateful to Taylor, his family, and employees who have worked so hard and given so much to putting on the parade for so many years.
“We are looking forward to creating a marvelous parade for us all to honor our US military personnel who have served, and continue to serve, with devotion, loyalty, and commitment in the United States Armed Forces to keep the freedom we all enjoy,” says committee chair Dave Haradon.
The parade route will remain the same as in past years, and the Kennett Square Police Department encourages parade goers to park in the East Linden Street Parking Garage. The parade begins at 10am at Kennett High School and follows South Union Street to East Cypress Street, up the 100 block of South Broad Street, then west on State Street to North Union Street and on to Union Hill Cemetery, where a memorial service with a 21-gun salute and a wreath-laying ceremony will be held.
Parade updates and details will be posted on the new Memorial Day Parade website. Anyone who would like to march in the parade should contact David Francis at KennettMemorialDayParade@gmail.com. Organizations or businesses who would like to join this list of generous, community-minded parade sponsors can find more information on sponsorship opportunities here.