Thousands show up for Quincy’s annual Flag Day parade and fireworks display on Saturday night

QUINCY, Mass. — Thousands of people showed up to take part in Quincy’s annual Flag Day parade and fireworks display on Saturday night, officials said.

The historic mile-long parade, which is the longest-running Flag Day Parade in the nation, includes numerous bands, several floats, color guards, antique cars, and hundreds of youths waving flags. In a typical year, over 5,000 people watch the parade and even more join for the fireworks display, officials said.

“Flag Day is the unofficial start of the summer season in Quincy,” Mayor Thomas Koch, whose father, the late Richard Koch, started the parade in 1952, said in a statement. “The patriotism, the traditions, and the participation of so many members of our community make this a truly special event. It’s great to see our community and folks from surrounding communities come together as one to celebrate our nation’s flag and all the good that it represents. I look forward to seeing everyone at the parade.”

The parade will begin at 7 p.m. on Coddington Street in Quincy Center, and continue north on Hancock Street before turning into Merrymount Park.

Fireworks viewing at Pageant Field over Black’s Creek are scheduled to follow the parade at 9 p.m.

The parade’s Grand Marshal will be Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan, who will be retiring this summer after a 40-year career with the Quincy Police Department.

The weekend festivities will continue on Sunday with the 75th Anniversary Koch Club Reunion from 12 to 4 p.m. at Pageant Field. The afternoon will feature a community barbecue, lawn games, t-shirt giveaways and more. The Koch Club is a youth sports, civic and charitable organization founded in Quincy by the late Richard Koch in the 1950s.

Mayor Koch will pay tribute to the Koch Club members and participants over the years along with his father, Richard Koch, who would have turned 100 years old this coming August.

Michelle Stenberg has been named 2023 Richard and Simone Koch Youth Service Award winner. Several Koch Club members, many of whom are in their late 70s to early 80s now, are expected to attend the festivities with their grandchildren.

The city of Quincy is known as the City of Presidents, for producing two U.S. Presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Several military leaders have also hailed from Quincy.

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