Southampton Memorial Day parade emphasizes tradition

The event has drawn multiple groups for more than 140 years

Southampton Township’s Memorial Day parade featured multiple vehicles, including two from the Hampton Lakes Emergency Squad.

The Southampton Township Memorial Day parade kicked off on Vincentown’s Main Street May 30, the annual event’s 143rd year. 

This year, multiple local organizations such as the American Legion and the  Southampton Historical Society took part in the parade, whose grand marshall was Southampton resident Benjamin Trimble. Mayor Michael Mikulsi gave a speech in which he  noted why it is so important to continue the parade tradition. 

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“We are extremely proud to hold our Memorial Day parade for the 143rd consecutive year,” he said. ”It is heartwarming to see Main Street overflowing with families honoring our nation’s fallen and celebrating the many, many veterans who make up our community.” 

Other parade events included the performance of multiple bands like the Special “K,”   Freedom Brass Dixie and Quintet, The Good Timers Band and Lenape Regional High School’s  band.

According to Township Administrator Kathy Hoffman, the parade also featured 44 bikes, singers, twirlers, Central Jersey tractors and 38 antique vehicles. Murphy’s Market donated popsicles and water to offset the hot weather, and other featured bikes included the Masonic Village and Widow’s Son Bike Club.

The New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, which serves Southampton and Leisuretowne, marched in the parade alongside the Hampton Lakes Emergency Squad. The latter has been involved with the event since its inception in 1958, according to Administrator and Chief Eamonn Fitzpatrick-Ruth.

“Our favorite part of the day is seeing the town come together to give thanks and remembrance to the men and women who gave their lives to our freedoms,” he noted. “Our small town comes together in a big way to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Fitzpatrick-Ruth said the squad puts as many vehicles as possible in the parade. Including this year’s entries, ambulance 1782 and support vehicle 1785.

After the parade, a veterans luncheon was held at the Vincentown Grange No. 67 at the corner of Main and Grange streets. 

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