Florence Memorial Day Parade To Step Off For 150th Time

May 25, 2018

A photo of the Florence Memorial Day Parade from 1911.
Credit City of Northampton

A Memorial Day parade marks a milestone in western Massachusetts this year. 

The village of Florence is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the oldest continuously-run Memorial Day parade in the United States.

The first parade was held in 1868, just after the end of the Civil War. It has been held every year since, regardless of the weather.

This year’s parade on Memorial Day, May 28, will feature 80 units with 1,500 marchers – three times the usual number. The parade route will be longer.

Organizers expect that spectator attendance will set a record.

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with parade committee co-chairman Mike Flynn.