Chicopee’s first Patriotic Parade to step off Saturday

America honors the Greatest Generation
America honors the Greatest Generation
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 1:58 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A new tradition starts in Chicopee on Saturday with the city’s first annual Patriotic Parade stepping off at 3 p.m.

“This parade is intended for the community at large,” said Stephanie Shaw with Chicopee’s Department of Veterans’ Services.

On Saturday, the first annual patriotic parade will take place in chicopee. The event replaces the traditional Memorial Day parade in the city.

Western Mass News spoke with Shaw, who told us this new event will allow more veterans to be involved since many of their regular Memorial Day obligations keep them away.

“This is about the veterans and the Gold Star families. This is about everything we have to celebrate as a country and our democracy,” Shaw noted.

The difference with this parade is the participation.

“I think the visible difference is the amount of participants that we have this year. We have a lot of organizations that have never been part of our program before,” Shaw added.

Some of the new organizations joining the parade include the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, the Great American Marching Band, and a kids bike ride parade.

Western Mass News spoke with Anne Gancarz, the assistant director of the Chicopee Public Library, who told us about her participation in the parade: a book mobile.

“Our book mobile was donated seven years ago now by Polish National Credit Union, so we have stops all over the city and it’s just great. We work with seniors, kids, everyone in between and just bring the library out there,” Gancarz explained.

The parade route will travel along Exchange Street, around city hall, and end at Szot Park. After the parade, there will be a resource fair with vendors and a band and, to wrap up the celebration, there will be a fireworks display.

Map showing the parade route and road closures for the 2022 Chicopee Patriotic Parade
Map showing the parade route and road closures for the 2022 Chicopee Patriotic Parade(City of Chicopee)