The 2018 Memorial Day Parade in Hawley will feature a different route than in previous years. The parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 27.

HAWLEY - The 2018 Memorial Day Parade in Hawley will feature a different route than in previous years. The parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 27.

This year’s Grand Marshal is Hawley resident George G. Hibbs, a Vietnam War veteran, Mayor Kevin Hawk announced at the May Council meeting.

Hibbs, 72, is a past commander of the American Legion Wilson-Kelch Post 311. He also worked as a Hawley Borough Policeman and put in 21 years before retiring from Tobyhanna Army Depot.

A native of Angels in Dreher Township, Wayne County, Hibbs served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines Division. As described in a 2009 interview for The Wayne Independent, he landed at Da Nang on the Gulf of Tonkin on September 1, 1968 and served 13 months in Vietnam. Cpl. Hibbs was a mortar man, among having other duties.
Hibbs attended Wallenpaupack Area High School.

He and his wife raised two children.

New parade route

Police Chief Daniel Drake detailed the new parade route, which has been under discussion for several months.

At noon, parade units will lineup on lower Church Street from Riverside Park where it meets Church Street near the railroad crossing, and along Church Street towards the bridge and Cora’s 1850 Bistro. The parade will head up Church Street to Main Avenue.

The parade turns right onto Main Avenue, at the corner with Teeters’ Furniture, and heads to Bingham Park where it concludes.

At either one of the two bridges on Main, the parade will pause where Post 311 members will conduct their traditional wreath ceremony. Drake said that the Post had not yet announced whether they would stop at the Middle Creek Bridge or the bridge spanning the Lackawaxen River.

Immediately following the parade, Post 311 will observe their annual Memorial Day Service at the Veterans Monument on Park Place across from the park. The public is encouraged to attend.

This is markedly different from the traditional route, which started the parade at Bingham Park and went down Main Avenue and down Church Street, to hold the wreath ceremony at the Eddy Bridge (near Cora’s 1850 Bistro restaurant). Parade units would then continue down Hudson Street to end at the park. The American Legion service also used to be immediately before the parade.

Drake explained that the changes were made due to the long concerns over bottlenecked traffic and the very long route for parade participants which passes far fewer parade watchers below the Church Street rail crossing and along Hudson Street.

Join the parade

Anyone interested in participating in the parade is encouraged to contact Borough Administrator Andrea Racht at the Borough Hall, at 570-226-9545.

Drake stated that the PA National Guard, 109th Infantry, was not expected to be able to participate this year.

As before, The News Eagle plans to publish the parade lineup in the Saturday edition of Memorial Day Weekend (May 26).

The parade has been in existence since at least the early 1900’s, when it was led by Civil War veterans with the James Thorp Post 195, Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.).

American Legion Post 311 led the Hawley parade once the Post was firmed in 1919, following the end of World War I. The wreath ceremony was held at the Eddy Bridge, where the parade paused.

Editor’s Note: The full story published in 2009 by The Wayne Independent about George Hibbs, will be republished in the May 26 edition of The News Eagle.