Memorial Day Parades and Events for Chicago Families

See the holiday as more than just a day off with these local events.

Memorial Day was born after the Civil War to honor soldiers who had died. Called Decoration Day because of the way graves were decorated to remember soldiers, it was officially named Memorial Day and designated as the last Monday in May in 1971.

Though it has unofficially marked the start of the summer, the remembrance day also includes parades and cemetery memorials. Here are some Memorial Day events perfect for Chicago families.


Chicago Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade

May 27, 2023

The wreath laying ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Richard J. Daley Center Plaza. The parade kicks off at noon and proceeds south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.

Norwood Park Memorial Day Parade

May 29, 2023

Kick off this Memorial Day event at Onahan School. The parade concludes at Taft High School for a tribute ceremony where the American flag will be raised and the Taft Eagles Choir and Taft Drums & Bugle Corp. perform.

North/Northwest Suburbs

Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Ceremony

May 29, 2023

Watch the Memorial Day parade as it travels from Sigwalt Street all the way until Chestnut and Fremont Street. At the end, there will be a Memorial Ceremony at Memorial Park.

Itasca Memorial Day Parade

May 29, 2023

The parade begins at Washington Street and Princeton Avenue and ends at Wesley G. Usher Memorial Park for a ceremony.

Memorial Day Observance Event

May 29, 2023

Join the Veterans Committee in front of Village Hall at the Veterans Memorial Plaza to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Wood Dale Memorial Day Parade

May 29, 2023

The parade begins at Addison Road and Elizabeth Drive and travels north to Veterans Memorial Park on Irving Park Road.

Woodstock Memorial Day Parade

May 29, 2023

The ceremony kicks off the day in Woodstock Square. The parade will follow. Walk downtown and view storefront displays of military uniforms and mementos from local families. 

South Suburbs

Plainfield Memorial Day Park

May 29, 2023

This annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony celebrates the fallen soldiers that fought for our country.

South Holland Memorial Day Parade

May 29, 2023

The parade honors military personnel who have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The parade begins 170th Street and South Park Avenue. After the parade, there will be a remembrance ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park.

Western Suburbs

Addison Memorial Day Ceremony

May 29, 2023

Addison’s Memorial Day observances begin with a free pancake breakfast at Indian Trail Jr. High at 8 a.m. There will be a cemetery observance at 10 a.m. before a march to Village Hall. The event will include a ceremony at the Village Hall at 11 a.m. At noon, the Addison VFW will host a lunch of hot dogs, brats, burgers and chips.

Aurora Memorial Day Parade

May 29, 2023

The parade route will begin at the intersection of Benton Street and River Street. Then it heads east on Benton, north on Broadway, west on Downer Place and ends at River Street.

Westmont Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony

May 29, 2023

This annual parade in Westmont begins at Cass and Naperville and moves south to Veterans Park on Richmond Avenue for a ceremony.

River Forest Memorial Day Parade, Ceremony and Community Picnic

May 29, 2023

The 98th annual Memorial Day Parade, Ceremony and Community Picnic begins at Augusta and Ashland. It travels south to Lake Street, then west to Keystone Park. The parade will conclude with a ceremony and a free hot dog lunch.

St. Charles Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony

May 29, 2023

  • Address: 6th Street and Main Street, St. Charles
  • Cost: Free

This annual parade steps off at 6th Street and Main Street. It honors those who have given their lives in service for our country and to honor veterans.

Western Springs Memorial Day Parade

May 29, 2023

The parade route begins at Hillgrove Avenue and Hampton, heads east to north on Grand Avenue, east on Chestnut Avenue, south on Lawn Avenue and ends at Tower Green.

This post is updated annually.

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