Moorestown’s annual 4th of July parade is back after a two-year hiatus and the township wants veterans to participate.
The festivities will kick off at noon, with the parade heading up Chester Avenue, where floats, classic cars and residents will move down Main Street and through downtown before ending at Church Street.
Alan Van Saun, military veteran and member of the Moorestown 4th of July Committee, is encouraging veterans to ride on the veteran’s float this year, a parade favorite.
“We’re looking for any veteran in the community to come out and join us, and to wear either a shirt or a hat, or something that reflects their service,” he said. “We just feel like it’s a way to let the community know that there are so many veterans …
“We just feel like it’s a way to highlight their service and thank them on such a patriotic day.”
The festivities will include a children’s art contest, with first-, second- and third-place winners will ride in the parade, and the committee’s float will lead all four quadrants – including veterans, classic cars and other enthusiast vehicles, civic and community groups and kids on bikes – down Main Street to close out the celebration.
As a new member of the committee, Saun discussed how he and his family became part of planning the event.
“My wife and I, when we moved back to Moorestown, we knew we wanted to get involved in the community …” he recounted. “We heard about both Memorial Day and the parade, and so it didn’t take long to get connected with (committee leader) Dave Schill.
“ … He offered me an opportunity to join the committee, and I didn’t think twice about it.”
Planning for the parade takes place year-round and the committee is actively involved with other happenings around town.
“Pre-COVID, there were events throughout the year that went in line with either the history of Moorestown or just patriotism in general,” Saun explained. “ … We’ve talked about having some other events throughout the year as well, so we’re really just trying to turn it into more than just one day out of the year, as a venue that celebrates our country and patriotism throughout the whole year.”
This year’s parade theme is “From Sea to Shining Sea.”
“ … (It’s) obviously a very patriotic line and (it) just celebrates the expanse of our country and how large and diverse our country is,” said Saun, who mentioned that the committee welcomes new volunteers.
“It’s a fantastic group, it’s a lot of fun (and) it’s really a great mix of people,” he said of the committee. “ … I’m just looking forward to getting everybody out and together after the last two years of quarantine that we’ve been through …
“ … Whether we have 10 people show up or we have 10,000, just getting outside and being together as a community is what I’m most looking forward to.”
For more information, including on registration and donations, visit moorestown4thjuly.org.