West Chester Gears Up for 225th Birthday Parade With Up to 20 Floats This Sunday

West Chester Gay Street 1899. Courtesy of Chester County History CenterIn this historical photo from 1899, Gay Street is shown, looking east from Church Street. /Submitted Image/UGC/Courtesy of Chester County History Center

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Borough of West Chester is announcing new details as it prepares for this Sunday’s 225th Birthday Parade, title sponsored by Benchmark Federal Credit Union, to celebrate the borough’s 225th anniversary.

According to West Chester Parks and Recreation Director Keith Kurowski, organizer of the parade, up to 20 colorful floats and decorated vehicles will be on display, with multiple walking groups, 10 dignitaries appearing in classic Corvettes, and an appearance by “Rammy,” the official mascot of West Chester University. The parade will be led by First West Chester Fire Company, which is also celebrating its 225th birthday this year.

Patrick McCoy, West Chester Borough Council President, said, “We’re looking forward to a year-long list of terrific events to celebrate West Chester’s founding as well as our current-day status as one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania. I hope residents and visitors join us for the parade to see why.”

Daniel J. Machon, Jr., President and CEO of the parade’s title sponsor Benchmark Federal Credit Union, said, “We’re ready to make history together, as we commemorate 225 years of West Chester borough during a day that is sure to create lasting memories for years to come.”

West Chester’s 225th Birthday Parade begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 21, 2024 at High and Market Streets, proceeding down Market Street and left onto Matlack Street, left onto Gay Street, left onto Darlington Street and left onto Market Street. Opening remarks will be at “Old Glory,” at High and Market Streets at 12:45 p.m. The parade’s rain date is one week later on Sunday, April 28th.

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West Chester has come a long way from its humble roots 225 years ago,” said Lillian L. DeBaptiste, Mayor of West Chester Borough. “We have the unique dichotomy of being a quaint, historic small town with a cosmopolitan vibe.”

Incorporated in 1799, the historic streets of West Chester are filled with more than 75 restaurants and 65 boutiques that prompted the Philadelphia Inquirer to call West Chester “one of the world’s most perfect small towns.” The borough’s growing population of nearly 64,000 people is in the heart of the Brandywine Valley, just 45 minutes from Center City Philadelphia and 30 minutes from Wilmington.

Volunteer opportunities and sponsorships are available. For more information, visit https://westchesterpa.myrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=29871 or contact the Borough of West Chester Parks and Recreation at 610-436-9010, parksandrecreation@west-chester.com

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