SOMERVILLE – Somerville’s annual Memorial Day Parade, the largest in the Boston metro region, and corresponding ceremonies are set for Sunday, May 24, with more family-friendly events than ever before along the parade route
Morning events sponsored by American Legion Post #19, in conjunction with the Somerville Allied Veterans’ Council, will begin at 8 a.m. at Post #19, 124 Highland Ave., with a short procession down Highland Ave. to the Central Library and the placing of wreaths on monuments along Central Hill Park.
The parade will step off from the City Hall/Somerville High School concourse at 1 p.m., and will proceed for 2.3 miles down Highland Ave. to the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Teele Sq. The parade will conclude in Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery with a ceremony of remembrance for fallen Somerville veterans under the supervision of the Somerville Allied Veterans Council Director of Veterans Services Christian Kulikoski. All events will be held rain or shine.
This year’s “bigger and better!” parade will feature 17 performing groups, including new bands and performers such as The Polish-American String Band of Philadelphia (The Mummers) and Somerville’s own Klezwoods. As always, the parade will also include a wide range of community and school groups, the popular specialty units of the Aleppo Shriners, and representatives of local veterans, fire, and police units.
New this year, the City has added more family-friendly fun along the parade route. At Kenney Park in Davis Sq. will be amusement rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, face-painters, and balloon-animal artists.
The 2015 Grand Marshal is Staff Sergeant Warren Fencl, USAF (Ret.). A Somerville resident since 1938, SSgt. Fencl enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and worked extensively on NASA’s Voyager Space Program as a radio and high-altitude balloon technician. He is a Gold Life Member and Past Commander of American Legion Post# 19, where he has served as Captain of the Color Guard for many years.
SSgt. Fencl’s Parade Adjutant will be Leon “Mickey” Curtin, City of Somerville Director Emeritus of Veterans Services. Director Curtin is a United States Army Combat Veteran of Korea and served in the City’s Veteran Services Department for 40 years.
To accommodate the parade, the following streets will have parking restrictions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and street closures beginning at approximately 9:30 a.m.
• Highland Ave. (Walnut St. to School St.)
• Prescott St. (Summer St. to Highland Ave.)
• Putnam St. (Summer St. to Highland Ave.)
• Vinal Ave. (Summer St. to Highland Ave.)
• School St. (Medford St. to Highland Ave.)
• Walnut St. (Medford St. to Highland Ave.)
• College Ave. (Morrison Ave. to Davis Sq.)
• North St. (Powderhouse Blvd. to Broadway)
• Alewife Brook Parkway (to Dilboy)
Beginning at 11 a.m., there will also be no parking on either side of the following streets (and in front of the Somerville Veterans Cemetery from North St. to Route 16). These restrictions will be lifted immediately following the parade:
• Highland Ave. (Walnut St. to Davis Sq.)
• Holland St. (Davis Sq. to Teele Sq.)
• Broadway (Holland St. to Route 16)
• Dilboy Field
• Little Sisters of the Poor – 186 Highland Ave.
Additionally, beginning at 8 a.m., Highland Ave. will be closed between School St. and Sycamore St. for American Legion Post #19’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony, which all are invited to attend.
Please note that the Number 88 MBTA bus route to and from Clarendon Hill will not be running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you would like more information, please contact Veterans’ Services at 617-625-6600 ext. 4700.