Traditions galore over Memorial Day weekend

The Memorial Day weekend, from Friday to Monday, saw a variety of traditions for the Chadds Ford area, one of which celebrated its 60th anniversary.

Students at Chadds Ford Elementary School had part two of their May Fair, Friday, May 22. The fair portion was held a week earlier, but last Friday the school held the traditional May Pole dance.

That activity, said Principal Mark Ransford, was first held 60 years to the day earlier.

The dance was followed by the Parachute party, a newer tradition. Interspersed between the two were songs sung by students from the different grades.

Later that evening the Brandywine River Museum held its 38th annual antiques show. More than 30 antiques dealers from as far away as Alabama and New Hampshire were on hand offering their treasures for sale. Proceeds from the three-day event benefit the museum’s Volunteers' Art Purchase Fund.

One of the more notable pieces on display came from the collection of Ed Weissman, a dealer from Portsmouth, N.H. Weissman brought with him a whalebone model of a three-masted sailing ship. The model, built sometime in the mid 1800s by an unknown artist measures 54 inches long, 18 inches wide and 42 inches high. The figure on the price tag was $125,000.

Throughout the weekend was the jazz festival at the Chaddsford Winery. The winery has been holding such open-air events for years on Memorial, Independence Day and Labor Day.

On Memorial Day itself, Brandywine Baptist Church held its traditional Memorial Day ceremony featuring veterans as guest speakers, an honor guard offering a gun salute to now deceased veterans buried at the church cemetery. The tradition also includes Boy Scouts placing flowers at those graves.

Farther south along Route 1, Kennett Square held its traditional parade. Taking part this year was state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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