Perfect weather highlights hour-long march up Route 82 as thousands look on
By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
KENNETT — With near perfect, sunny weather, the latest version of the Kennett Memorial Day Parade went off without a hitch, Monday.
Running its usual route along Rt. 82, the parade ran from Kennett High School to the Union Hill Cemetery at the border of Kennett Township and East Marlborough.
As is the norm, American Legion William W. Fahey Post 491 managed and put together the event, which has grown considerably over the last decade after becoming nearly extinct during the 1990s.
While the event was intended to honor all military veterans, as usual, local residents who served were selected to be honored as the parade grand Marshals: Donald Curry of West Chester (U.S. Army), Walter C. Brun of Glen Mills (U.S. Army), Alfred J. Cocciolone, Sr. of West Grove (U.S. Army), and Patrick M. Canfield of Wilmington, DE (U.S. Air Force). All four were highlighted in special vehicles during the parade and honored during post-parade ceremonies afterward.
As usual, there were many familiar groups — the Kennett High School and Unionville High School marching bands are staples of the annual event, as an example — but there were some notable new additions for the 2012 version of the parade.
One highlight was an appearance by the Joseph A. Ferko Mummers String Band from Philadelphia.
Joining Ferko as new participants in the parade were the Amerikids Youth Chorus, with school students from throughout Chester County, an antique helicopter from the American Helicopter Museum, and the Penn Dixie Band. Returning after at least a one-year hiatus included the Delaware Military Academy Band and Color Guard and the Kennett High School Alumni Band.
More typically, local emergency responders turned out in force, including fire units from Kennett Fire Company, Longwood Fire Company and Po-Mar-Lin. Boy Scouts were there in force, including their typical position leading off the parade, as well as the local Service Unit for the Girl Scouts, which covers the Unionville-Chadds Ford and Kennett school districts.
There were both Revolutionary War and Civil War reenactors and military hardware and vehicles from across U.S. history. As is the norm, KAU Little League teams were out in force, too, with truckload after truck of young ballplayers — male and female — riding in the parade.