In case you missed it…

Annville’s annual Memorial Day Parade, a 30-year-old tradition, has come to an end.

The Annville Community Activities Committee, which organized the event each year, posted the news on the Destination Annville page on Facebook. The Feb. 10 announcement was brief, and did not offer much hope for resurrecting the parade in the future.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of putting Annville’s Memorial Day Parade together for the past 30 years,” the message stated. “On behalf of the Committee we would like to share with everyone that we will no longer be holding/coordinating the Annville Memorial Day Parade. It is a decision that did not come easily for any of us.”

The message further noted that committee members had approached the Annville American Legion “to see if they have any interest in continuing the parade in some capacity,” and urged Annville residents to “take some time Memorial Day weekend to drive through (the National Cemetery) and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. We hope Memorial Day remains an important day for our town with or without a parade.”

The parade annually drew about 1,500 participants and 5,000 spectators, and was ranked among the largest Memorial Day parades in Pennsylvania.

However, Becky Gacono, who chaired the Annville parade for the past decade and has been involved since its inception in 1990, told LebTown that there might be some hope for the future.

Read More: The many hats of Becky Gacono

“We have spoken to a few people,” she said. “No commitment yet.”

Gacono said she is hopeful an individual or organization will step up and show “an interest in doing a parade in some capacity.”

As for her, she said, “it was a good 30 year run for me.” She helped to organize the parade for the first 20 years with the help of her parents, V. Carl and Mary Jane Gacono, and Al Yingst, she said, and the last 10 years with a committee of five volunteers. Her father, she said, was a past commander of the Annville American Legion.

Read More: Annville’s V. Carl Gacono was loved because he knew how to love

Announcing her decision to end the parade was “one of the hardest days I have had in a long time,” Gacono added.

“We are not sure if anyone or any group will be taking over the parade but we all agreed it was our time to step down,” she said in a statement. “This parade has been part of who I am for more than half my life. It has been amazing. It has been exhausting. But most of all it has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of such a humbling tradition in our community.”

Of course, Memorial Day will still be recognized in Annville. The Annville American Legion will hold a service at Mt. Annville Cemetery on Monday, May 30, at 10:30 a.m.


Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Do you support local news?
If you believe that Lebanon County needs independent, high-quality journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. Your support will go directly towards stories like this and you will be helping ensure that our community has a reliable news source for years to come.

Learn more about membership and join now here.