DETAILS: Springfield is making changes to the Memorial Day parade
Despite concern from residents and parade-goers, Parade Commander Jon Stewart said the length of the parade will not change. It still measures out to be 1.5 miles.
“It’s the exact same length,” Stewart said. “It’s just the part that we miss at the beginning before the bridge is made up at the end.”
Stewart referenced the area of Plum Street between McCreight Avenue and Cliff Park Road where people are welcome to set up their chairs.
“It makes up for the spot in the city we’re missing,” he said.
Stewart said a main reason for the change was the new route doesn’t block off as many main roads that lead to Springfield Regional Medical Center.
EARLIER: More than 2.500 people will march in Springfield Memorial Day parade
He also listed decreased police staffing and safety concerns as reasons for the change.
Stewart has been working with police once a month to go over the proposed route, which included input from several other city entities.
“We put a lot of thought into it before we changed it,” he said.
In addition, there won’t be a closing ceremony to honor veterans at Ferncliff following the parade.
Instead, the ceremony will kick off an evening concert in Veteran’s (formerly Cliff) Park. The ceremony will start at 7 p.m. followed by a concert by Saving Pluto, a local band. There will also be three food trucks and the Kona Ice truck from Troy.
Stewart said the ceremony’s attendance following the parade has been historically low in the past, so he hopes combining it with other activities will bring in more people and give respect to veterans.
The 2018 Springfield Memorial Day parade will be May 28 at 9 a.m., and the Memorial Day ceremony and concert will be from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Veteran’s Park.