Florence Memorial Day Parade 2018

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On Memorial Day, the Florence Memorial Day Parade Committee recommends that parade participants park at the Florence Recreation Fields located along Meadow and Spring streets in Florence. From the parking areas at the recreation fields, shuttles, starting Monday at 11 a.m. will take parade participants to the parade assembly area at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School at 80 Locust Street.


Monday, May 28th at 1:00 PM

Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School

The village of Florence is planning a large commemoration on Memorial Day, May 28, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the oldest, continuously-run Memorial Day parade in the United States.

The 150th Memorial Day parade will feature a longer parade route, nearly 1,500 marchers, and a fighter jet flyover. This year, the parade will step-off at 1 p.m. from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School and head through the Florence village center past the Sojourner Truth statue to Pine Street before ending at the Elks Lodge.

The parade will conclude with a ceremony featuring remarks from United States Congressman Jim McGovern and Mayor David Narkewicz of Northampton. Stan Rosenberg will read an official citation from the Massachusetts Legislature followed by the keynote address by Northampton native, Major General Gary W. Keefe USAF and Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard

The first parade was held in Northampton in 1868, just after the end of the Civil War, and included the decoration of the graves of deceased service members in the Park Street Cemetery in Florence. This tradition has continued every year since, regardless of weather.

In previous years, more than 500 people have participated and thousands have gathered to watch along Route 9. This year due to the 150th anniversary, the City of Northampton is anticipating 1,500+ parade participants and more than 80 marching units. A flyover from the 104th Fighter Wing is also planned at about the moment when the main parade contingents reach the center of Florence at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Frequently asked questions about Memorial Day (PDF)

The official Parade program booklet

Watch the Mass Appeal story about the 150th Florence Memorial Day commemoration.

Memorial Day is every day news clipping
Memorial Day 2018 Events

Special THANK YOU to the following Parade sponsors:

The 150th Anniversary of the Florence Memorial Day Parade would not have been possible without the many people and organizations and local businesses who contributed to this noble and sacred commemoration. Thank you!

  • Achieve TMS East
  • Attorney Mary Ellen Niles Howard
  • Burke Chevrolet
  • Central Hampshire Veterans' Services
  • Construct Associates, Inc.
  • Cooper's Corner (Major Sponsor)
  • The Elks, Northampton Lodge BPOE #997
  • Easthampton Savings Bank (Major Sponsor)
  • Five College Realtors
  • Florence Bank (Major Sponsor)
  • Florence Civic & Business Association (Major Sponsor)
  • Florence Paint & Decorating Center
  • Full Circle Bike Shop
  • Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center
  • Greenfield Cooperative Bank
  • 1812 Paint & Body Shop
  • Florence Barber Shop
  • Florence Casket Company
  • Look Park
  • Maple & Main Realty
  • Murduff's Jewelry Store
  • The Murphy's Realtors
  • Pioneer Heating & Cooling, Inc.
  • ServiceNet
  • Streetlight Financial
  • TNT Tent and Table Rentals
  • VA Central- Western Mass. Healthcare System
  • VA Medical Center- Leeds
  • VFW Michael Francis Curtin Post 8006, Florence
  • Veterans Council of Northampton

The 2018 Florence Memorial Day Parade Planning Committee

  • Bill Aherin
  • Dave Alvord
  • Mike Bardsley
  • Jerry Budgar
  • Robert P. Cahillane
  • Gerry Clark
  • Steve Connor
  • Liz Cummings
  • Tim Daley
  • Ethel Estes
  • Deb Foley
  • Mike Flynn
  • Sherry Grabon
  • Nick Grimaldi
  • Carl Growhoski
  • Alan Guditis
  • Darlene Guditis
  • Brian Joyce
  • Lisa Kirouac
  • Brad LeVay
  • Scott McAllister
  • Earl W. Meunier
  • Careu Miller
  • Brian O'Connor
  • Sean O'Connor
  • John Paradis
  • Peg Pease
  • Tom Pease
  • Shawn Porter
  • Chris Powers
  • Robert Ross
  • Brenda M. Ryan
  • Jim Ryan
  • Michele Sharac
  • Phil Sullivan
  • Gene Tacy
  • Lester Tardy
  • Lousie E. Tardy
  • Gloria H. Tuperkeizsis

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