Neighborhoods are gearing up for Memorial Day celebrations

Hank Slaveski, Grand Mar­shal of the Brides­burg Me­mori­al Day parade, pose for a por­trait on his dec­or­ated porch, Sat­urday, May 21, 2011.

With Me­mori­al Day com­ing up on Monday, May 30, neigh­bor­hoods are gear­ing up for a vari­ety of events, with Brides­burg set to host what or­gan­izers be­lieve will prove to be the state’s largest Me­mori­al Day event.

But, in nearby Port Rich­mond, cel­eb­ra­tions will not be over­shad­owed by their neigh­bors to the north.

In Port Rich­mond, start­ing at about 10 a.m. at the in­ter­sec­tion of Thompson Street and Al­legheny Av­en­ue, string bands, school groups and a wealth of en­ter­tain­ers will join vet­er­ans to be­gin the neigh­bor­hood parade.

Port Rich­mond res­id­ent and aide to City Coun­cil­wo­man Joan Kra­jew­ski, Patty-Pat Kozlowski has been work­ing with parade chair­man Mas­ter Sgt. Walt Milewski to pre­pare for the event.

The parade will head north on Thompson Street, turn­ing west on Ven­ango Street, then south on Bel­grade Street be­fore turn­ing east on Clear­field Street, head­ing north on Thompson Street and back west on Al­legheny Av­en­ue to end at Camp­bell Square Park.

It’s a route that has changed over the years, and Kozlowski said, this year, or­gan­izers are hop­ing to in­clude as many loc­als as pos­sible.

“We want to flaunt our red, white and blue,” she said dur­ing an in­ter­view last week. “We want every­body, all in the parade.”

She said Port Rich­mond On Patrol and Civic will be hand­ing out Amer­ic­an flags and the neigh­bor­hood town watch will be shar­ing red, white and blue beads with on­look­ers.

Sug­ar­House casino will provide the Sug­ar­House Ex­press Trol­ley for the event. Vet­er­ans will be in­vited to ride through the parade and wave to the audi­ence.

Port Rich­mond events will cul­min­ate with a flag rais­ing ce­re­mony, his­tor­ic­al sign ded­ic­a­tion and me­mori­al event at Camp­bell Square.

In nearby Brides­burg, a week of events will lead up to what or­gan­izers said will be the largest Me­mori­al Day cel­eb­ra­tion in all of Pennsylvania.

“We will have a pretty busy week,” said John “Moose” Muszyn­ski, a mem­ber of the United Vet­er­ans of Brides­burg who served as a com­bat med­ic in the Army dur­ing the Korean War.

“It’s go­ing to be the largest in PA,” stressed Muszyn­ski.  

This year, for the first time and in an ef­fort to help cov­er ex­penses  mdash; the parade can cost between $15,000 and $20,000 — the Me­mori­al Day events merged with Brides­burg Pride Week, which is tra­di­tion­ally held in the fall.

“It costs a lot of money to run the parade,” said Joseph Slab­in­ski, pres­id­ent of the Brides­burg Busi­ness As­so­ci­ation. “We said to ourselves, let’s tie this all to­geth­er … It’s been work­ing out very well and as a res­ult, it looks like this will be one of the biggest and best parades we’ve ever had.”

In fact, many loc­al busi­nesses chipped in and stepped up through fun­draisers and oth­er events throughout the month in or­der to present the Me­mori­al Day cel­eb­ra­tion.

“When you have a parade, the whole world comes out,” said Chris Kulb, whose com­pany, Kulb Designs, pro­duced a line of T-shirts to raise funds for the parade. The shirts are avail­able at the shop at 4240 Rich­mond St.

“This is a Brides­burg pride thing,” he said. “Old fam­ily mem­bers and friends all come back just for that day.”

De­tail­ing the Me­mori­al Day parade, Muszyn­ski said there will be at least five loc­al high school bands, four from New Jer­sey schools, a num­ber of string bands, two piper bands — one of which will be the Phil­adelphia Po­lice Piper Band — and a total of 14 mu­sic­al groups per­form­ing in the parade.

That’s without men­tion­ing the many vet­er­ans as­so­ci­ations what will be in­volved, as Muszyn­ski said there would be vet­er­ans “from all over the city” at the Brides­burg parade.

But, even with so much to do on Monday, Muszyn­ski said the Sunday events held be­fore Me­mori­al Day mean the most to him.

That’s a time, he said, when vet­er­ans get to­geth­er, vis­it area cemeter­ies and pay their re­spects to fallen friends.

“Sunday is the biggest day. It’s a day ded­ic­ated to the dead,” said Muszyn­ski. “That’s what it means to me … The day be­fore is what really makes an im­pact for us guys.”

Those in­ter­ested in sup­port­ing the Brides­burg parade can send a check or money or­der to the United Vet­er­ans of Brides­burg, in care of Ed Dubeck, 2635 Ed­ding­ton St., Phil­adelphia, PA 19137.

Re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man can be reached at 215-354-3124 or hmit­ 

Cel­eb­rat­ing Me­mori­al Day in the ‘Burg

Brides­burg’s Me­mori­al Day fest­iv­it­ies will kick off this year with a May 26 ce­re­mony at Thompson and Or­tho­dox streets, and cul­min­ate in the parade on Monday, May 30.

Events in­clude:

Thursday, May 26:

A 12:30 p.m. ce­re­mony at Thompson and Or­tho­dox streets, fol­lowed by a “Brides­burg Proud Cel­eb­ra­tion” for seni­ors and guests at Ed­ge­mont Cater­ers, 4411 Ed­ge­mont St.

A 6 p.m. flag-lower­ing ce­re­mony at the Brides­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, 4601 Rich­mond St., fol­lowed by re­fresh­ments and a present­a­tion by the Brides­burg His­tor­ic­al So­ci­ety at VFW Post #2, 4638 Rich­mond St.

 Sat­urday, May 28:

Neigh­bor­hood cleanup, con­cen­trat­ing on the parade route and sev­er­al oth­er loc­a­tions. Crews will gath­er at 10 a.m. at the Rite Aid, Or­tho­dox and Rich­mond streets.

Sunday, May 29:

A 10 a.m. Mass to re­mem­ber de­ceased vet­er­ans at St. John Can­ti­us Church. Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing, there will be a bike-dec­or­at­ing con­test in the park­ing lot ad­ja­cent from the church. A short march fea­tur­ing vet­er­ans and the dec­or­ated bikes will then pro­ceed to Holy Re­deem­er Cemetery. 

Monday, May 30:

The parade will be­gin with a 9 a.m. ser­vice at Amer­ic­an Le­gion Post 821, Sal­mon and Or­tho­dox streets.

A 9:15 a.m. Me­mori­al Ser­vice will also take place at Most Holy Re­deem­er Cemetery, 4300 Sal­mon St.

The parade will be­gin at 10 a.m. at Rich­mond and Ju­ni­ata streets.

Brides­burg Parade Route:

From start­ing point, Rich­mond and Ju­ni­ata Streets

North on Rich­mond to Bridge Street

West on Bridge to Thompson Street

South on Thompson to Or­tho­dox Street

East on Or­tho­dox to Rich­mond Street, re­view­ing stand at Rich­mond and Or­tho­dox streets

South on Rich­mond Street to parade end point.

More events:

Charles J. Glenn  Me­mori­al Day ser­vice

A Me­mori­al Day ser­vice will be held at the Cpl. Charles J. Glenn 3rd Me­mori­al, Marl­bor­ough and Wildey streets, on May 30 at noon. Friends, neigh­bors and sup­port­ers of the me­mori­al are in­vited to par­ti­cip­ate along with the Phil­adelphia Vi­et­nam Vet­er­ans Me­mori­al So­ci­ety and the Phil­adelphia Po­lice and Fire Pipes and Drums.••

Fair­mount Me­mori­al Day Ce­re­mony

A Me­mori­al Day ce­re­mony will be held at Ward Park, 24th and As­pen streets, on Mon., May 30 at 10 a.m.

For more in­form­a­tion call (215) 236-3970.••

You can reach at

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