Memorial Day parades, P-rade among the holiday weekend highlights

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Last year's West Windsor Memorial Day parade enjoyed beautiful weather.

By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
A plethora of parades — from Princeton University’s alumni P-rade to the Spirit of Princeton’s annual Memorial Day parade — are on tap for the Memorial Day weekend.
Lawrence Township and West Windsor Township also will hold Memorial Day parades and ceremonies to honor those who died — on Saturday in Lawrence and on Monday in West Windsor.
The Memorial Day weekend kicks off Saturday morning with the Spirit of Princeton’s annual parade on Nassau Street. The first marchers will step off at 10 a.m., and walk down Nassau Street for a dedication ceremony at 11:15 a.m. at Princeton Monument Hall.
For those who haven’t had enough of parades, Princeton University’s P-rade starts at 2 p.m. Saturday on the front campus. Alumni from dozens of Princeton University classes will line up by class and walk through the campus to Poe-Pardee Field.
The P-rade is not tied to Memorial Day. It has its origins in the 150th anniversary of Princeton University’s founding. In October 1896 — which marked the 150th anniversary — 800 students and 2,000 alumni marched through town.
The fireworks show that follows Saturday’s P-rade, and which begins with a lawn concert at 8 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m., started in 1996. That was the year that Princeton University celebrated its 250th anniversary.
Back to Memorial Day parades, Lawrence Township will holds its annual parade on Saturday at 10 a.m. It begins at Lawrence High School and wends its way on Princeton Pike to Darrah Lane and ends in Veterans Park.
Lt. Col. Edward J. Dowgin Jr. is the parade grand marshal. The U. S. Army officer will offer remarks at Veterans Park, followed by the placing of the wreath at the Veterans Memorial. There will be free hot dogs and soda in the park.
Wrapping up the holiday weekend, West Windsor Township has set its parade for Monday at 11 a.m. The parade begins at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, as marchers walk down Clarksville Road to the Municipal Complex for a short ceremony at noon. Refreshments will be available.