Memorial Day Parades are back in New Jersey 2021: Here’s where
After a year of disruption amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of communities around the state have announced a return to traditions to mark the unofficial start of summer 2021.
Memorial Day Parades have returned to the calendar for a handful of municipalities, from Union to Monmouth, to Gloucester and Passaic Counties.
With more than 3.7 million people fully vaccinated and COVID-19 metrics continued to be on the decline, another factor in the decision to resume somewhat "normal" activities has been the state's reopening plan, which reaches new milestones as of Wednesday, May 19.
The following communities have announced Memorial Day weekend parades for this year:
Lions Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31, rain or shine at 10:30 a.m. Main Street and High Street will be closed. A Memorial Service will follow the parade on the Allentown Grammar school grounds. In addition, prior to the start of the parade there will be a bicycle decorating contest sponsored by the Allentown Business Community Association at 16 Allen Drive. All participants are welcome to ride their bicycles in the parade.
On Monday, May 31, the township will host its Annual Memorial Day Parade, inviting local groups to register to take part. “Because of the Pandemic last year’s parade was cancelled so we really want to make this year’s event BIG! At the end of the parade route at Arthur L. Johnson High School, a short service will be held to honor ‘Clark’s Fallen Heroes,’” according to Clark Recreation Director Ralph Bernardo.
Freehold is forging ahead with its 147th Freehold Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31st. AS of now, the parade is ready to go as usual, however changes may be made as the event gets closer due to current COVID-19 guidance at that time.
The Memorial Day Parade Committee has put a call out to grow the more than 100-year tradition, by adding floats. "Floats are traditionally constructed to depict a patriotic display of heartfelt honor and pride for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.” The event also includes veterans and military groups, bands, antique vehicles, youth sports organizations, fire trucks, and more. Children, ages 5 to 12, also are invited to decorate bikes patriotically, don a helmet and have a guardian accompany them in the parade.
The Memorial Day Parade in Lawrence Township will take place on Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m. "As we continue to balance COVID 19- as part of our daily reality, we are optimistic that this year's parade can safely take place following all CDC guidelines of social distancing and mask wearing. We recognize that this may be a challenge for some groups and ask that you only register your group or organization if you can comply with the CDC guidelines. Vehicles are encouraged to allow for social distancing,” according to the Lawrence Township Patriotic Committee.
In Old Tappan, the 2021 Memorial Day Parade steps off from behind Northern Valley OT High School at 9:30 a.m. The parade ends in Oakes Park on Central Avenue and concludes with a Memorial Ceremony. In the event of inclement weather, the Fire Department siren will be sounded at 8:15 a.m. advising that the Parade and ceremony has been canceled. "We ask you to remind members of your organization, children and adults alike, that Memorial Day is a solemn occasion, dedicated to the memory of our countrymen who have given their lives so that we may enjoy our freedom. Let us treat their memory with dignity and respect," according to the borough website.
"After a difficult year in 2020," the borough will continue its long-standing tradition of honoring fallen military men and women. The Roselle Park Memorial Day Parade will step-off from Sherman Elementary School at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 31 (lineup will begin at 9 a.m.)
Wayne's Memorial Day Parade will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 31. The route begins at Ramapo Shopping Plaza at the corner of Valley Road and Hamburg Turnpike and ends at the Wayne Valley Municipal Building.
In Wyckoff, Memorial Day events in 2021 are being observed with the idea “Always Remember and Honor the Fallen." The Township has asked participants to refrain from attending if they show signs or symptoms of COVID-19. No refreshments served after the parade this year.
8:30 a.m. - Firefighter's Memorial Service: Firehouse No. 1, behind Town Hall
10 a.m.- Veteran's Memorial Service: lawn of Wyckoff Reformed Church on Wyckoff Avenue
11:30 a.m - Memorial Day Parade: It starts from Wyckoff Reformed Church and ends at Town Hall.
Bayonne’s parade will return in 2022, with a change of leadership from the longtime Memorial Day Parade Committee. Instead, a city-organized event by a committee assembled by Mayor Jimmy Davis, as reported by NJ.com.