HONESDALE — Once thought to be in doubt, the annual Memorial Day Parade in Honesdale will take place as scheduled.
About a month ago, it was learned no permits had been applied for through PennDOT to have the parade — an event which is a long-standing tradition in Wayne County and one of the most popular of the year.
Honesdale Mayor Ed Langendoerfer said he was shocked there might not be a parade so he took the bull by the horns and is organizing the event this year.
"We have to have a parade," said Langendoerfer.
For a very long time, the parade has been organized by Honesdale Borough Councilman Jim Brennan. However, Brennan is now serving a 45-day sentence in the Wayne County jail after he was convicted by a jury of DUI. He remains on the council.
On Tuesday night, the mayor organized a meeting of several people who have been involved with the parade in the past and they began planning in earnest this year's event.
It is scheduled for Monday, May 27, which is Memorial Day.
The parade is actually two events.
The first is the parade itself and the second is a program which takes place in Central Park and features a guest speaker as well as special guests. Free hot dogs and water are also served at the park.
The parade will start at 10 a.m. and proceed down Main Street before ending back at Central Park. Lineup for the parade is at 9.
At the start of the parade, there is a special ceremony which takes place on the Main Street bridge over the river. As the parade begins, there will be a pause for a "burial at sea" ceremony.
A priest will say a few words and flowers will be thrown into the river to honor those veterans who were buried at sea. Veterans will be involved in conducting this ceremony.
The parade will then proceed down Main Street.
This year, the group is going to honor all Purple Heart recipients from this area. Organizers are contacting the Purple Heart recipients and they will all be on one entry in the parade. They will all serve as the official parade marshals.
Anyone who is a Purple Heart recipient who would like to be in the parade is asked to contact Phil Sheehan from the Honesdale VFW at 253-4066. The deadline for contacting him is May 20.
Once the parade makes its way to Central Park, there will be a program to honor veterans.
Jack Bishop, veterans employment representative for Wayne/Pike Career Link Services, is working on securing the guest speaker.
Page 2 of 2 - (We will feature a profile on that speaker prior to the parade.)
Also during the ceremony, there will be the playing of taps as well as the National Anthem. There will also be a laying of the wreath at the Veterans Monument in Central Park as well as a 21-gun salute.
Area high school bands are also expected to participate in the parade and organizers are asking band members to come to the park for food and water as well as to watch the ceremony.
Carnations are also handed out at the park and this year, the Limerick on Main is donating those as its contribution to the event.
One major change this year is how entries are accepted for the parade.
Entries are being accepted at borough hall in Honesdale. The forms appear regularly in this newspaper. They can be filled out and taken to borough hall or you can simply go there and fill out a form.
Langendoerfer is handling all questions about the parade. He can be reached at 499-3557.
The mayor said there is no entry fee for the parade but the committee is accepting donations if persons want to help out with the cost of the parade.
He also said that anyone who is interested in helping out with the parade can contact him as soon as possible. Help is needed for various aspects of the parade, including the lineup and program.
The mayor is also working closely with the Honesdale Borough Police Department and area fire companies in making sure the parade runs smoothly.
The newly formed committee will meet again in a couple of weeks to make final preparations for this year's event.