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Wilm. Fire Dept. to receive ‘largest parade the city has ever seen’ for 100th birthday

Charles MegginsonCulture, Headlines

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Organizers promise ‘the largest parade the city has ever seen.’

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Wilmington Fire Department and the city plans to celebrate their century of service with the largest parade the city has ever seen.

The parade, which will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, will feature more than 20 bands — including the President’s United States Marine Corps Band.

More than 40 fire companies will participate alongside police agencies, paramedics, and EMS units.

“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 Mike 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.”

The parade will step off from 16th and King Streets and proceed past the Rodney Square reviewing stand to 4th and King Streets.

Fire Chief Michael Looney said “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.”

Street Closures

  • North King Street, from West 18th Street/North Market Street to West 2nd Street. East 2nd Street and East Front Street will be open to allow for cross traffic, but organizers 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.
Parade Participants

  • The President’s Own United States Marine Corps Band from Washington, D.C.
  • The University of Delaware Marching Blue Hen Band. 
  • 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

The city said in a press release that “there will be plenty of free parking to accommodate the anticipated crowd.” Follow downtown signage and traffic instructions to find free parking.


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