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Military salutes, celebrations of community among Memorial Day must-dos

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By BRIAN BINGAMAN
bbingaman@21st-centurymedia.com

From heartfelt, solemn  observances to light-hearted celebrations, these were at the top of our Memorial Day weekend list.
◆ Hatfield American Legion Post 933, its ladies auxiliary, and Sons of the American Legion Post 933 present the Hatfield Memorial Day Parade May 26. The parade starts at Broad and Market streets at 9 a.m., after a wreath ceremony at the Veterans Memorial staging area,  and ends at the Legion home on Koffel Road. There will be a ceremony at the Legion after the parade to honor fallen veterans and POW/MIA. The 71st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry will conduct a salute. All veterans are welcome to walk in the parade. If unable to walk, transportation will be provided. Organizations wishing to participate should email hatfield@post933.comcastbiz.net or call (215) 368-7733 and ask for Preston.  People and families that wish to walk in the parade should come to Woodburners at 8 a.m. that morning. The Legion will open its doors to the public for a complimentary luncheon after the ceremonies.
◆ The Lower Merion Memorial Day Observance will take place on May 26, with several events planned to honor veterans. The Merion Concert Band will play the U. S. Military service songs and patriotic selections beginning at 9:45 a.m. at the corner of Lancaster and Argyle Roads. Parade participants are to assemble on Greenfield Avenue at 10 a.m. Families and children are welcome with their bicycles, strollers and wagons. First, second and third place awards will be given for the best decorated bicycles.
The parade will step off from Greenfield Avenue at 10:30 a.m. and process to St. Paul’s Cemetery for the Ceremonial Memorial Day Service at 11:15 a.m.
◆ Telford VFW Post No. 5308 holds Memorial Day ceremonies on May 26. Departing the post at 8 a.m., there will be visits to four cemeteries: St. Paul’s Lutheran and Trinity UCC in Telford, and Christ Reformed Church at Indian Creek and Little Zion Lutheran, both  in Franconia Township. In addition, a ceremony will take place at the VFW post home at 395 W. Broad St., Telford.
◆ The Morgan Log House, 850 Weikel Road, Towamencin, will hold its fourth annual “Military Might” event 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 24. Reenactors and exhibits covering the 18th, 19th, and 20th century wars will tell the story of the men and women who have fought for their country and beliefs. Presentations will include Revolutionary War female spy Lydia Darrow, war gardens, the Civil War sailor, flag raising and retiring ceremonies and Vietnam War-era vehicles; plus letters, diaries, journals, photographs and postcards. Special uniform exhibits include World War II Red Cross nurse’s uniform, an Army combat nurse’s uniform, WAC display, a Navy Wave uniform and more. The event is free and open to the public. Call (215) 368-2480.
◆ The annual Quakertown Memorial Day parade and remembrance ceremony, hosted by the Wallace Willard Keller Quakertown American Legion Post No. 242, will be held May 26. The parade will begin at 9 a.m., starting at Ninth Street and Park Avenue, proceeding north to Mill Street, then turning right on Mill Street, ending at Quakertown Memorial Park.  A ceremony will take place at 9:45.  The parade will re-form at 11 a.m. on Mill Street, turning right on Fourth Street to Broad Street, left on Broad Street to the American Legion for a flag-raising ceremony.
◆ A Memorial Day Parade will be held in Perkasie May 26. The parade will start at Seventh and Chestnut street at 9 a.m., following Market Street to Fourth Street, Fourth Street to Chestnut, and then back up to Fifth Street, following Fifth Street to the finish at Menlo Park. Contact Perkasie Borough at (215) 257-5065.
◆ American Legion Warren Royer Post No. 234 will hold its Memorial Day cemetery tour May 26. Beginning at 8 a.m. at the American Legion, 353 N. Main St., Souderton, vehicles will proceed to the cemeteries at Hatfield Church of the Brethren, Immanuel (Leidy’s) Church, Souderton Mennonite Church and Hillside Cemetery (Second Street, Souderton). The group then travels back to the American Legion Post for a memorial service at 9 a.m.
◆ Lansdale’s Memorial Day Parade is set for 9 a.m. May 26 along Main Street, with the Memorial Day ceremonial program after 10 a.m. in Memorial Park, East Main Street between Line Street and Park Drive. The parade lines up at 8 a.m. at West Main and Cannon Avenue. The committee for the Lansdale Memorial Day Parade invites everyone in the area to march or ride up Main Street. Enter your patriotically-decorated, manually-powered riding vehicle (tricycle, scooter, bicycle, unicycle, wagon, etc).  All children should be accompanied by an adult, either walking or riding with them.  For more information, check out Lansdale Memorial Day Parade on Facebook or email bill@billhenning.com.
◆ Doylestown’s Memorial Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. May 26, stepping off from Central Bucks West High School, proceeding east on West Court Street, east on West State Street, and north on North Main Street to Doylestown Cemetery for a service.
“The Power of Noble Deeds” will be the theme of this year’s annual tribute to Norristown native and Civil War General Winfield Hancock, presented by the W.S. Hancock Society in Hancock Square at noon May 26. Hancock Square is outside the Montgomery County Courthouse at Swede and Main streets, Norristown and contains the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. In keeping with the origins of Decoration Day and commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 1864 campaigns, the event will honor the lives of all veterans past and present. There will be music by the Norristown Chorale, narrative by W.S. Hancock Society historian Bruce Stocking and a wreath laying. Being honored as the recipient of the second Winfield Scott Hancock Award will be is Paul R. Koons of West Norriton, a World War II veteran who served in the Signal Corps in Germany during the occupation, and a war bonds poster boy. Koons also worked with the United States Marines in the overhaul of Montgomery Cemetery in the 1980s and then the stabilization and restoration of W.S. Hancock’s mausoleum in the cemetery. For more information, call (610) 630-0912 or drop by www.wshancocksociety.org.
◆ Non-profit organizations, churches, businesses, crafters and vendors will be offering activities for children, raffles, food or other items — including the Kiwanis Club chicken barbecue — during Souderton Borough Community Day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 24 in Souderton Borough Community Park, Reliance Road and Wile Avenue. Call (215) 723-4371 or email bea@soudertonborough.org or maryjane@soudertonborough.org.
◆ Harleysville Country Fair Days are back May 21-24. Sponsored by the Harleysville Jaycees, the 47th annual event takes place at Harleysville Community Park, 435 Park Drive, Lower Salford. Featured May 21 and 22 are unlimited amusement rides for a cost of $20 from 6 to 10 p.m. A fireworks extravaganza is set for dusk May 23 (rain date Saturday), as the fair remains open until 11 p.m. A parade is held on Maple Avenue and Main Street at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by a matinee from noon to 4 p.m., during which time a child can enjoy unlimited amusement rides for $20. The final night of the fair is 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday. For more information, check www.harleysvillejaycees.org/countryfairdays.html.
◆ Start your summer with flavorful and free fun at the seventh annual Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest  11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 24 -25 at the Mount Hope Estate and Winery, Route 72, off Pennsylvania Turnpike exit 266, Cornwall. For more information, go to www.parenfaire.com/flavorfest/index.php.
◆ Historic Philadelphia Inc.’s 20th anniversary season comes to life Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and beyond.  New highlights for 2014 include the “Colonial for a Day” costume rental program for children and a colonial drinking tour with Benjamin Franklin.  Returning favorites include a daily flag-raising with Betsy Ross and the Liberty 360 3-D show. Thursday May 22 Tippler’s Tours begins for the season.  Visitors join a colonial era host to hear stories and drinking traditions with lighthearted songs and toasts of the period, and drinks and snacks at three modern day watering holes and one historic tavern. Friday May 23 Independence After Hours Tours begin for the season. The evening walking tours visit some of the landmarks of Philadelphia’s Historic District with colonial characters who bring history to life right in the place where it happened, with dinner at City Tavern and a visit inside Independence Hall at night. Saturday May 24 is opening day of the Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches. The 10 benches are scattered all over Philadelphia’s Historic District, telling stories of our nation’s history. Call (215) 629-5801 or visit www.historicphiladelphia.org.
The 78th Army Band performs a free Memorial Day Tribute concert at 1 p.m. May 24 in Green Lane Park, 2144 Snyder Road, Marlborough Township. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Call (215) 234-4528.
Follow Brian Bingaman on Twitter @brianbingaman.

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