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Florence Memorial Day Parade To Step Off For 150th Time

Northampton Memorial Day parade
City of Northampton
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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.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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