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Canceled – 2020 Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 25, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Historic Kennett Square
For more information call:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information call: Bill Taylor, Chairman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kennett Square’s 2020 Memorial Day Parade Cancelled, Longtime Parade Organizer Bill Taylor Retires
Every year, Kennett Square’s legendary Memorial Day Parade involves up to 1,500 participants—including hundreds of veterans, local organizations, historic re-enactors, and pieces of vintage military equipment—and draws many thousands of spectators along the mile-long parade route. This year, due to safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and the impossibility of maintaining mandated physical distancing at such a large-scale event, organizers have made the difficult decision to cancel the parade as well as the traditional memorial service at Union Hill Cemetery which had been scheduled for Monday, May 25. Kennett’s Memorial Day Parade is one of thousands of large-scale public events worldwide that have been cancelled this year because of the pandemic.
“While this decision is disappointing, Historic Kennett Square and the Borough of Kennett Square are acting with great concern for the well-being of the parade staff, borough employees, parade participants, spectators, and sponsors,” says long-time parade organizer and veteran Bill Taylor.
The importance of remembering and honoring those who fought for our freedom has motivated 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. Under Taylor’s leadership and with a tremendous commitment of time, perseverance, and hard work, the parade has grown every year since and has become one of the signature events on the Kennett Square calendar, eagerly anticipated by residents and visitors alike. “It’s also a great event for teaching patriotism and history to the younger generations,” says Taylor. One parade is hardly finished before Taylor begins plans for the following year, and this year’s parade was to have been one of the biggest and most vibrant yet.
“I will be retiring as Chairman of the parade and would like to thank everyone who has participated in our patriotic holiday event in memory of past and present veterans who have kept us safe and free because of their sacrifice,” Taylor says. “You have given us your best in making our parade and ceremony a success and for honoring our veterans for the past 16 years. On behalf of my company, family, and parade committee, I thank you for the privilege of serving our community.”
“It’s difficult to express in words our deep gratitude to Bill for his commitment to carrying on this important tradition for all of these years,” says Historic Kennett Square Executive Director Bo Wright. “And it’s disappointing that the parade he’s put so much time and energy into organizing can’t happen this year. We’re grateful for all of his hard work and dedication and we also want to thank all of the parade sponsors whose generosity makes this community celebration possible every year. His shoes will be big ones to fill, but we’re hopeful that someone in our community will honor Bill by picking up the tradition and being willing to take on the organization of the parade.”
Taylor and Historic Kennett Square urge residents to show their support and appreciation for veterans by flying flags at their homes on Memorial Day.
Founded in 1986 as the Kennett Square Main Street Association, Historic Kennett Square is a volunteer driven, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, focused on Kennett Square’s economic well-being, historical integrity, programmatic development, vibrant culture, and urban hospitality.
Thank you Bill Taylor!