The parade, the flyover and the ceremony — your guide to Memorial Day in Darien
Monday, May 27 is Memorial Day. There is no shortage of ways to honor it in Darien. All Memorial Day events are rain or shine — but the National Weather Service so far is predicting Monday's weather as mostly sunny with a high near 78 degrees.
The Darien Times wishes to thank David and Karen Polett, of the Monuments & Ceremonies Commission — their assistance with assembling our Memorial Day special section and coverage is tremendously appreciated.
The Grand Marshal of this year's parade is Pat Parlette, who served as the first female drum major for Darien High School in the 1943 Memorial Day Parade.
Assembly — All units assemble at Goodwives Shopping Center at 9 a.m. Signs will indicate where each division assembles. Marchers must be in position by 9:30 a.m. Step off is 10 a.m. sharp.
Read more about Darien's Memorial Day parade, including line up of participants, in our Memorial Day special section online here.
Children’s marching units — Those dropping off a child, the child’s group must have an adult in place. Parents with children will not be allowed to linger or park their car. This causes congestion and unsafe conditions. Parents who must wait with their child, because no adult is in place, are required to park their car at the YWCA, First Congregational Church, or the Mechanic Street lot behind the Darien Fire Station, and walk their child into the assembly area.
Parking — Police will direct traffic. The Goodwives Shopping Center parking lot is for shoppers and parade vehicles only. There is no parade parking. Park at the YWCA, First Congregational Church, or the Mechanic Street lot behind the Darien Fire Station
Parade Route — Goodwives Shopping Center to Brookside Road to Post Road. At the end of the parade, continue on Post Road PAST Hecker Avenue. Vehicles stay to the left and walkers stay to the right. Vehicles are not permitted to stop and must continue straight past Cemetery.
Length of Parade — Approximately 1.25 miles. Make sure all marchers are able to complete the parade.
Marching — Parade officials will maintain a uniform cadence and a steady forward march at all times. All units will maintain a reasonable distance from the unit in front of them. All marching units will march at least six abreast, with the exception of color guards. No pets are allowed in the parade!
Reviewing Stand — located in front of Nielsen’s Florist on the Post Road where the parade will be reviewed by the Grand Marshal and other dignitaries.
Cemetery Ceremony — Attendees are invited to the Connecticut Veterans’ Cemetery to pay respect to the military people who have preserved our freedom with the ultimate sacrifice.
Emergencies— In case of emergency the parade will move to the right side of the road and the necessary vehicles will pass on the left side of the road.
Other — No alcoholic beverages are permitted in the Assembly Area, along the Parade Route, or during the Ceremony. No throwing of candy, toys, or any other items in Assembly Area or along Parade Route. Violators will be removed.
The parade is a procession to the Connecticut Veterans’ Cemetery to honor those who died in service of our country. The spirit of the parade is to celebrate the lives of our war dead. Participants are encouraged to identify the organizations they represent, but are requested to refrain from advertisements or promotion of events that have nothing to do with Memorial Day.
Darien Police advise motorists to expect delays in the downtown area between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. as the Post Road will be closed to all traffic for the safety of participants and spectators. The Darien Police Department will have a full complement of officers stationed along the parade route to assist with road closures as well as ensuring pedestrian and spectator safety.
A flyover will take place over Darien’s Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 27. The flyover will be a C-130 U.S. Air Force plane #AFFlyover which will fly down Route One at about 10:30 a.m.
If you cannot be at the parade in person, DAF media, a joint partnership of the Darien Foundation and the Darien Athletic Foundation, will be hosting a live broadcast on YouTube here.
The ceremony will be held at the conclusion of the parade at State of Connecticut Veteran’s Cemetery, Hecker Avenue and the Post Road, Darien. Read more about the historical significance of Darien's cemetery here.
Order of events:
Patricia Parlette, US Cadet Nurse Corps, Grand Marshal
Invocation: …………………….. Rev. Monsignor Edward R. Surwilo, DHS Class of ‘55
Introductions: …………………. David Polett, Chairman, MCC
Pledge of Allegiance: ………..… Grand Marshal Patricia Parlette
National Anthem: ………........... Darien High School Tudor Singers
Gettysburg Address: ………….. Rhea Bhat, Senior GS, Troop 50167
General Logan’s Order No. 11 .. Tate Hanson, SPL Troop 53
Darien Wartime Deaths: ……… First Selectman Jayme Stevenson
Three rings of the bell reflect respect and honor for those lost
“America The Beautiful”: ……. Darien High School Tudor Singers
Speaker: ……………………...... Matt Pavia, Author, Darien HS Faculty
Presentation of Memorial Wreaths:
Grand Marshal, Speaker, and First Selectman Stevenson
Military Salute: ………………...VFW Post #6933 Honor Guard
Taps: …………………………… Darien High School Band
Benediction: …………………… Rev. Monsignor Edward R. Surwilo
Honor Guard: Emma Kennedy Cadette GS, Troop 50847, Ian Holly, PL Troop 35, Maximus Racanelli, APL Troop 53, and additional Scouts from Troops 35 and 53
Members of the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission
David Polett, Chairman
Terry Gaffney, Vice Chairman, Parade Chairman
Karen Polett, Secretary
Treasurer Ken Reiss*
* Denotes Commissioner is a Veteran
Post 53 Food Fair
Darien EMS-Post 53 will hold its 31st annual Memorial Day Food Fair at Tilley Pond Park on May 27 following the Memorial Day parade. Money raised at the Fair provides equipment and supplies for patient care; supports training, hands-only CPR and Stop the Bleed classes; and maintains ambulances. The Fair, a 31-year Darien tradition, continues until 2 p.m.