The Milford Community Parade will kick off on Wednesday, October 19, starting at 6:30pm. This year’s theme America The Beautiful will celebrate patriotic pride during one of the most memorable election seasons in history. An event that has been a Milford tradition since 1939, the Milford Community Parade marches through Walnut Street of Milford, encompassing 1.7 miles stretching from South to North, through beautiful and scenic downtown Milford.
The Milford Community Parade was originally themed as a Halloween parade as it began 70 years ago under Ed Evans, who was Milford’s Mayor during World War II. In recent history the Gray family has facilitated the event for the past 25 years. With the help of community members, family and friends, James Gray set out to make the parade a unique experience for those attending. Under the direction of Milford Community Parades, Inc., the parade began as a fall holiday celebration and has since evolved into a fall seasonal parade with changing themes. According to Charles Gray, current Parade Chairperson, attendance has reached 30,000 in previous years with the multiple marching bands as the parade’s signature attraction.
Over the years, the parade has hosted local businesses and non-profit organizations, statewide political figures and even some unique entries including an airplane and an elephant. This year, 13 bands will be marching among over 80 parade entires. Spectators can expect some different twists and traditional representations of this year’s theme. “This year, everyone will be amazed at the twist and turns in creativity by participants. There will be beauty on display, a rigid new look at moments in history, a salute to American Heroes, sounds of patriotism, and of course music, music, music by more than 10 marching bands,” stated Mr. Gray.
Among several participant awards over several categories each year, the Jim and Marie Jo Gray Community Spirit Award will continue its third year run as it is bestowed upon the entry that demonstrates the most enthusiasm and community spirit through their entry decorations and volunteer spirit. The first to receive the award was the Milford High School Cheerleaders after their determination illustrated during the 2014 parade amidst rain down pours and wind. In 2015, the Westside Restaurant was announced as the Community Spirit Award winner after their “all in” spirit of their participants and decorations to the theme Back to the Future.
Reviewing stands and food vendors will be found along the 1.7 mile route. Mr. Gray pointed out, “Unlike other parades, we offer three reviewing stands for the spectator’s convenience. This allows the spectators to spread out and not all be jammed into a small space. This leads to better crowd control and logistics for families ready to leave at the end of the parade. We are proud of the partnership we have had over the years with Milford Police Department, the Chief, and the local departments that assist the evening of the parade.”
Families are encouraged to visit www.milfordparade.com for parade route information, detour information, sponsorship information and more. The parade begins at 6:30pm on October 19. Contributions of all sizes are accepted and can be mailed to MCP,Inc., PO Box 1153, Milford, DE 19963. Contributors in the $100 campaign can also contribute online.
Families that cannot make it to the parade route on Wednesday, October 19 can watch live coverage of the event on MilfordLIVE.com’s Facebook page and website.
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