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Memorial Day Parades & Observances

May 24 - May 27

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, which was a day to remember those killed in war by placing flags and flowers on their grades. In 1971 it became an official federal holiday.

Communities have scheduled a variety of events to remember those killed in war and honor veterans throughout the week but most parades are held on Monday.

Springfield Observance

12:00 p.m., Friday, May 24, ceremony at steps of City Hall and Veterans Monuments at Court Square, Springfield.

Ware Parade 

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Sunday, May 26, Memorial Day Commemoration at Quabbin Park Cemetery. Refreshments will be offered at 10:00 am. Parade and services begin at 11:00 am.

Wilbraham Observance

11 a.m. Sunday, May 26, ceremony at the Crane Park Veteran Memorial across from the intersection of Springfield Street & Main St.

Brimfield Parade 

2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 26, Memorial Day Services at the Brimfield Common. Parade to follow.

Hadley Parade 

2 p.m. Sunday, May 26, parade begins at the American Legion, 162 Russell Street (Route 9). Parade route from the Legion heads west on Route 9 and turns right up West Street. A brief ceremony will be held around the West St. Common to the General Hooker Monument.

Longmeadow Observance

9 AM, Monday, May 27, Memorial Day Service on the Town Green.

Southwick Parade

10:00 AM, Monday May 27, with line up beginning at 9:30. The parade route will begin at the Southwick Plaza and continue down College Highway to the Town Green.

Agawam Parade

10 a.m. Monday, May 27, parade beginning at Agawam Middle School and Agawam Town Hall and march down Main Street to Veterans’ Green. Ceremony will follow. In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place in the Junior High School auditorium at 10:30 a.m.

Northampton Parade 

10 a.m. Monday, May 27, parade starting on Trinity Row and proceeding to the Park Street Cemetery.

Holyoke Observance

10 a.m. Monday, May 27, ceremony Holyoke War Memorial Building, 310 Appleton St.

Ludlow Parade 

10 a.m. Monday, May 27, parade beginning on the corner of Winsor and Worcester streets.

Westfield Parade 

10 a.m. Monday, May 27, parade and ceremony. The parade route will be as follows: beginning at Mestek Field, the marchers will march south down North Elm Street, continuing across the Great River Bridge onto Elm Street, south to Broad Street, right at the intersection of Broad Street and West Silver Street to Parker Memorial Park for the Memorial Day ceremony starting at 11 a.m.

West Springfield Observance

10 a.m. Monday, May 27, Memorial Day Ceremony at Town Hall, 26 Central St.

Williamstown Parade 

10 a.m. Monday, May 27, join in the Williamstown Memorial Day Parade hosted by The Williamstown American Legion. Parade starts at the corner of Spring and Latham Streets and continues up Spring Street, Route 2, ending at Field Park.

East Longmeadow Observance

10:30 a.m. Monday, May 27, ceremony starting at East Longmeadow High School, 180 Maple St. There will be wreaths, raising a new American Flag, and Military Honors.

Easthampton Parade

10:30 a.m. Monday, May 27, parade beginning onClark Street, down Cottage Street, up Payson Avenue, turn right onto Park Street, straight down Main Street, around the rotary, back up Main Street to Payson Lane, then conclude on Park Street at the Veteran War Memorials. Ceremonies at the Veteran War Memorials will include laying wreaths at all memorials, speeches, volley fire, and musical selections.

Chicopee Observance

11 a.m. Monday, May 27, there will be an annual Memorial Day ceremony with the wreath laying at the Veterans Memorial Plaza, 460 Front St.


Memorial Day: This federal holiday is celebrated the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress made it an official holiday.

Veterans Day: This federal holiday falls on November 11 and is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military. Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.

Nov. 11 recognizes the month, day and time the guns fell silent on the Western Front during World War I. The carnage left millions dead, destroyed cities, scorched countrysides and caused deep-seated resentments that led to World War II.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.


May 24
May 27