Springfield Memorial Day parade will have new route

Memorial Day parade participants carry the American flag up Fountain Ave. The route to the parade will be changing this year. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

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Memorial Day parade participants carry the American flag up Fountain Ave. The route to the parade will be changing this year. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

If you’re planning on attending Springfield’s Memorial Day parade on Monday — make sure you know about the new route.

The new path will start near Veteran’s Bridge, make a left on North Fountain Ave., another left on McCreight Ave. and a final left turn on Plum Street with the end circling back to Veteran’s Park.

The change will mainly affect anyone who normally sits close to the fire station, heading north on North Fountain Avenue or by City Hall downtown. They will need to find other places to sit.

The previous parade course started on West High Street and ended at Ferncliff Cemetery.

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.

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