The Parade Will Go On: The Citadel Brings Back Longstanding Tradition After COVID-19 Cancelations

The parade will go on at the The Citadel.

After pausing the tradition last year due to COVID-19, the historic military college in Charleston, South Carolina, says it will allow the public to return and watch the cadet parades outside, where there is currently no requirements for masks or social distancing, said Kim Keelor, a spokeswoman for The Citadel, to The Washington Post

But with the number of COVID-19 delta variant cases rising, she told The Post that circumstances could change. For now, the school looks forward to sharing the pageantry of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets with the public this September.

“Everyone loves a parade. Dress parades have been pulling together proud parents, alumni and visitors from around the country to the perimeter of Summerall Field on The Citadel since 1922,” The Citadel Commandant of Cadets, Col. Tom Gordon, said in a media statement.

According to The Post, parades at the The Citadel carry a long history dating back to 1845, with the Corps of Cadets’ tradition dating back around 180 years.

“U.S. military reviews and parades began at Valley Forge. At that time, brigades of soldiers were formed in order of battle,” states The Citadel’s website, which also notes that the tradition of parading troops can be traced back to the time of Alexander the Great. “Modern-day ceremonies are conducted to inspect troops, render honors, preserve tradition, and foster espirit de corps. At various times throughout the year, The Citadel’s parades are used to present awards and recognize students, faculty, staff, and other notable people.”

Free and open to the public, the parades typically take place of Friday afternoons.