Memorial Day parades return for 2021, here are the largest

The coronavirus pandemic might have canceled Memorial Day plans last year, but life is starting to return to normal for 2021 thanks to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide. …

The coronavirus pandemic might have canceled Memorial Day plans last year, but life is starting to return to normal for 2021 thanks to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide. 

With this shift, parades are making a comeback this year so Americans can honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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Countless local parades will take place over Memorial Day weekend, however, three cities will be attracting some of the largest crowds this year.

2019/05/27: United States Army Soldiers last marched in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. on May 27, 2019. The parade was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. (Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

2019/05/27: United States Army Soldiers last marched in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. on May 27, 2019. The parade was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. (Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

National Memorial Day Parade – Washington, D.C. 

The National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. will make its return on Monday, May 31. The three-hour event will start at 5 p.m. EST, according the American Veterans Center

Participants will pass by the National Mall on Constitution Avenue and salute “America’s military and fallen heroes from the American Revolution through Afghanistan and Iraq,” the parade’s online brochure states.

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Select marching bands and veteran units from each U.S. state are included in the parade along with “patriotic floats and helium-filled balloons.”

Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade – Illinois

Multiple parades will take place throughout The Prairie State, but the largest one is typically hosted in Chicago. 

This year, Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade will be live-streamed as a “commemoration” on Saturday, May 29, according to the city’s government website. Viewers can catch the event on the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ Facebook and Twitter accounts at 11 a.m. CST. Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston will serve as the keynote speaker while jazz trumpeter and bandleader Obert Davis will serve as the special musical commission.

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Previous Memorial Day parades in Chicago have been attended by thousands and have started at State Street, according to Rove.me – a holiday destination and travel vacation resource. The parade’s procession has followed down Lake Street and Van Buren Street with floats, military marching bands, veteran groups, JROTC cadets and more.

New York City’s Memorial Day Parades – Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan

Multiple parades are taking place in The Big Apple for Memorial Day, according to the NYC Official Guide. Each borough hosts its own parade, but Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan stand out as some of the largest in the city.

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In Brooklyn, visitors can expect the 154th annual Kings County Memorial Day Parade to kick off in Bay Ridge in the form of a motorcade. The event will take place on Monday, May 31, at 11 a.m. EST, and participants will start their route between 78th Street and 3rd Avenue before traveling down Marine Avenue, Hamilton Parkway, 92nd Street, 7th Avenue and the VA Hospital. The event will conclude with a memorial service.

Veterans last marched in the 152nd annual Kings County Memorial Day Parade in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on May 27, 2019. The parade is one of the oldest Memorial Day parades in the nation. (Johannes Eisele / AFP via Getty Images)

Veterans last marched in the 152nd annual Kings County Memorial Day Parade in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on May 27, 2019. The parade is one of the oldest Memorial Day parades in the nation. (Johannes Eisele / AFP via Getty Images)

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Over in Queens, The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday, May 31, at 1 p.m. The annual event is “reputedly the largest,” according to the NYC Official Guide, and includes two neighborhoods in the northeastern part of the city.

Meanwhile, the NYC Official Guide states Manhattan is home to a “smaller parade” that takes place throughout Inwood. The parade reportedly begins between Dyckman Street and Broadway.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says parades are a safe activity for people who are vaccinated for COVID-19 and unsafe for people who are not vaccinated. Moreover, the health agency still recommends people wear face masks and social distance at large gatherings that have attendees from different households.

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