The City of Gaithersburg and the Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Fire Department celebrate the unofficial end of summer with the 73rd Annual Labor Day Parade Monday, September 5, 2011 at 1 p.m. The parade features an assortment of high school marching bands, costumed characters, cars and fire engines, horses, clowns, and more, winding through East Diamond and Russell Avenues in Olde Towne Gaithersburg. Julie Wright, traffic reporter for WTOP News Radio and part of the Fox 5 Morning News Team, joins the parade as Mistress of Ceremonies.
Free parking is available in the Olde Towne garage, located at the corner of Olde Towne and South Summit Avenues. Handicap parking is located behind the Victor Litz store on the north side of Diamond Avenue, and behind the Shell station on South Summit Avenue. A shuttle bus will also be provided from the Lakeforest Shopping Center transit station to Gaithersburg Elementary School beginning at noon.
Gaithersburg’s Labor Day Parade is one the City's oldest traditions. The Gaithersburg Fire Department established a rescue squad in 1938 and that year they hosted traditional fundraising events such as dinners and dances and a Labor Day Parade. Early parades included a band competition, carnival booths and a dance. Eventually the carnival and dance aspects ceased to be a profitable way for the department to earn money, but the volunteers did continue to sponsor the Labor Day parade until 1977, when a citizen's committee undertook the task of organizing the end-of-summer festivity. The event is now coordinated by the City of Gaithersburg Department of Parks Recreation and Culture, with continued support from the Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Fire Department. It has been held every year except 1942, during World War II.
The 73rd Annual Labor Day Parade will be held rain or shine. For more information call 301-258-6350 or visit the City’s website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov/parade.