Children bring patriotic parade to life in Darien

DARIEN — A happy holiday tradition sidelined by the pandemic last year returned with a bang on the Fourth of July.

The popular Push-N-Pull family parade, which is hosted by Darien VFW Post 6933, returned with a new route — starting at Darien High School Sunday morning, rolling up Noroton Avenue, and ending at the VFW post itself for food, games and community.

“The good thing to come out of the pandemic is that we’ll have the opportunity now to introduce people directly to our post,” said Sharad Samy, principal organizer of this year’s event.

Hundreds of families gathered at the high school decked out in Independence Day regalia, many also piloting wagons, scooters, strollers, bicycles and other wheeled contraptions suitable for pushing or pulling.

“The Push-n-Pull Parade is a beloved Darien tradition, and the large turnout is a testament to how much people are happy to be out celebrating our nation’s 245th Birthday with family and friends,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said. “I’m very grateful to the VFW Post No. 6933 and all their sponsors, Darien police and firefighters for hosting and supporting such a wonderful event.”

“It’s great to be here,” state Rep. Matt Blumenthal said. “The Push-N-Pull is always a highlight of the year, and it’s especially great to see our community coming out to celebrate our country.”

“It’s nice to get back to our annual traditions,” said Selectman David Martin. “This is an even that the kids really love.”

While it dates back about 15 years, the parade originally began at Goodwives Shopping Center, then crossed the Post Road and headed to Tilley Pond Park.

“It’s nice to be able to get together again and to see all the patriots,” said parent Marcy Minnick of Darien. “The kids have a great time at this event.”