KENNETT SQUARE—Thousands of people are expected for this year's annual Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade, set for Monday, May 27 in downtown Kennett Square.
Kennett Square’s biggest parade is a fun, family-friendly event. Up to 1,500 participants and 100 veterans march in the parade, which has grown to include more and more organizations, historic re-enactors, and pieces of vintage military equipment.
This year’s parade begins at Kennett High School at 10 a.m. The route, which is over a mile long, will follow South Union Street, Cypress Street, North Broad Street, State Street, and North Union Street. The parade concludes with a memorial service at Union Hill Cemetery, which includes a 21-gun salute and a wreath-laying ceremony.
“The parade is an educational experience for children to learn tradition and patriotism," said long-time parade organizer and veteran Bill Taylor.
It’s this passion for remembering those who fought for our freedom that motivates Taylor, in collaboration with the American Legion Post 491 and Historic Kennett Square, to organize the Memorial Day Parade each May.
“The American Legion started the parade after World War II,” Taylor says, “but it grew smaller over the years as the older veterans passed away.”
In 2005, he was asked to revive the parade for Kennett’s sesquicentennial, and it has been growing ever since.
This year’s Grand Marshals are World War II veterans the DiNorscia brothers, Al, Guy, and Tony. After completing basic and Bomber Technical Training, Sgt. Alfred J. DiNorscia, Sr. was sent to Erlangen Air Force Base in Germany, attached to the 40th Bomb Wing, Station 194-8 Photo Tech Squadron. Al participated in some special classified projects during his time in Germany. Al is proud to join the parade and to honor his brothers Tony and Guy, both deceased, who served in battle areas. Sgt. Anthony J. DiNorscia was stationed at Jackson and Ward Air Force Bases in New Guinea. He was attached to the 63rd Bombardment Group and repaired damaged B-29 and B-17 bombers upon return from missions. Sgt. Guy D. DiNorscia was attached to the 133rd Infantry by Division 745th Rifle Company and served in PO Valley, Northern Italy.
All three brothers were honorably discharged in 1946. Sgt. Harry Collins, a veteran of the Korean War, is also being honored as a Grand Marshal at this year’s parade. Collins served with the 102nd Infantry Regiment 45th Infantry Division in Augsburg, Germany, and was honorably discharged in 1952.
The Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade is a colorful, vibrant procession that includes something for everyone—from classic cars to tanks, bagpipers, fife and drum, Little League players, and fire trucks, as well as a wide range of musical entertainment.
A Marine color guard unit will lead the parade, and military units expected to march include the Delaware Military Academy Band and Cadets, Coatesville High School Junior ROTCs, William E. Taylor U.S. Naval Cadets, Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactor units, and more. Many local veterans will be riding in antique convertibles and antique military vehicles or marching in color guards and other military units.
Civilian units such as the Joseph A. Ferko Mummers String Band, the Chester County Emerald Society Bagpipe Band, local high school marching bands, drumlines, and barbershop quartets are expected to be in the parade.
Other entries include Aztec dancers, the Lukens Band, drum lines, Dragon/Lion Dance Club, the Oscar Mayer “Weinermobile,” and a Viking ship. The parade also showcases the great work of local organizations and nonprofits and reflects the rich cultural diversity of our local area.
“This year’s parade promises to be a great patriotic event,” Taylor says.
Parade Sponsors: American Legion Post 491, Burton’s Barber Shop, CAC Scholarship, DiMatteo Financial Group, Fenstermacher & Company, Genesis HealthCare, Kuzo Funeral Home, Kennett Run Charities, Kennett Square KAU Little League, Law Office of David B. Myers, Longwood Rotary, Madison Settlement Services, Kennett Square VFW Post #5467, Taylor Oil, The Mushroom Festival, Union Street Financial, Waters Retail Group, and WSFS.