WILMINGTON, DE — Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki is encouraging all City residents to show their support for Wilmington firefighters – past and present – by coming Downtown on Saturday, October 23 at 10 a.m. for the Wilmington Fire Department’s 100th Anniversary Parade. The grand parade, part of the WFD’s month-long centennial celebration, steps off from 16th and King Streets and proceeds past the Rodney Square reviewing stand to 4th and King Streets.
Organizers of the parade, the Wilmington Fire Department 100th Anniversary Committee, have released the preliminary parade lineup, which is included at the end of this release. The parade will feature more than 20 bands and more than 40 fire companies as well as police agencies, paramedics, and EMS.
“This is an excellent opportunity for members of the public to come out to honor and celebrate the fine men and women of this outstanding department,” said Mayor Purzycki. “This is an extraordinary celebration that is well deserved, and special thanks go to Mike Hare and the members of the WFD 100th Anniversary Committee, Chief Looney and his leadership team, and to all the sponsors and participants who have made this event possible – a parade that promises to be among the largest this City has ever seen.”
Event Chair Michael Hare said, “This lineup, while still growing, is extraordinary. It is one worthy of the celebration of this milestone and this great Department.” Wilmington Fire Chief John Looney added, “The men and women of the WFD are humbled by the participation of so many in our celebration. We are anxious to share this day with the community and encourage all who are able to join us on October 23.”
There will be plenty of free parking to accommodate the anticipated crowd. Motorists are advised of the following street closures on Saturday, October 23rd beginning at 7:30 a.m. and continuing into early evening:
- North King Street, from West 18th Street/North Market Street to West 2nd Street. East 2nd Street an East Front Street will be OPEN to allow for cross traffic, but there expect significant congestion involving parade participants and the motoring public. Police will be on the scene and will remove road closures when able – most likely late afternoon/early evening.
- East 16th Street from North Walnut Street westbound to North King Street. North Market Street (except 12th Street) and North Walnut Street will remain OPEN, but intersecting side streets with North King Street will be CLOSED one block from North King Street to prevent traffic from attempting to access King Street.
- North Park Drive and South Park Drive from North Van Buren Street to North King Street. The Drives will be CLOSED to allow parade participants to set up.
- North Market Street from 12th Street to North King Street.
Wilmington Fire Department 100th Anniversary Parade participants include:
- The President’s Own United States Marine Corps Band from Washington, D.C.
- The University of Delaware Marching Blue Hen Band. This marks only the second time that the University of Delaware Band has marched in a parade in Wilmington.
- Citizens Hose Company of Smyrna
- Delaware National Guard 287th Marching Band
- Salesianum, Cab Calloway, A.I. DuPont High School and The Delaware Military Academy High School Bands
- The Sixers Stixers Drill Team, the Official Drumline of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Pipe and Drum Bands from:
- The Wilmington Department of Police
- The Delaware State Police
- The Camden County Police and Fire Emerald Society
- The Philadelphia Emerald Society
- The Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes and Drums
- The Washington DC Fire Department Pipes and Drums
- The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums
- More than 40 Volunteer Fire Companies from throughout Delaware will participate in a combination of marching units and apparatus
- The Wilmington, New Castle County, and Delaware State Police Agencies
- The NCCPD and DSP Mounted Units
- The New Castle County Paramedics and St. Francis Hospital EMS
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