Car parade, vets ceremony, fly-over will marke Memoridal day
A car parade and a ceremony — though not a public one — as well as a fly-over will celebrate Memorial Day in Ridgefield this year, even if the coronavirus lock-down means that veterans, scouts and soccer teams won’t be marching down Main Street followed by floats and fire trucks.
The vehicle parade — that’s what they’re calling, pick-ups wlecome — starts at 10 at Ridgefield High School and will wind its way through town arriving at Main Street by about 10:30, organizers say. But, given the circuitous route through town they have planned, it could arrive somewhat later.
The vehicle parade is being organized by members of the Republican Town Committee, who say all are welcome — envisioning it as a town patriotic event, not a partisan political one.
The ceremony is planned at noon at the Community Center and is being organized by the American Legion— which normally organizes the Memorial Day Parade, but called it off this year due to the coronavirus.
And it will be similar to the ceremonies that usually follow the parade, with prayers, a gun salute and taps — and even some words by First Selectman Rudy Marconi, and a scheduled fly-over by military aircraft.
“We will do a simple short ceremony at noon in front of the Lounsbury House,” American Legion Commander George Besse said. “The ceremony will include some remarks by Rudy a prayer and 21 gun salute and taps.
“The is a flyover scheduled between 12 and 12:15 — never know if they will be on time or not.
“No announcements have been made to avoid a large crowd gathering,” Besse said.
“Because of Covid-19 we couldn’t invite the public,” Besse said, “but we are duty bound to honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
The vehicle parade from the high school to the village was announced on social media in the last couple of days.
“We were all disappointed to find out that this year's Memorial Day parade was cancelled, for obvious reasons. Thinking of a creative way to commemorate the occasion, the Ridgefield Republican Town Committee is planning a ‘vehicle only’ parade through Ridgefield, on Monday, starting at 10 a.m.,” said a post by Brian Armstrong.on the Rigefieldct Facebook page Saturday.
“All are welcome to participate! Feel free to decorate your cars with flags or messages!” Armstrong said. “We will be observing all normal traffic rules, so please abide by all stop signs and traffic lights.
The plans is for people to meet up at Ridgefield High School’s main parking lot starting at 9:30 a.m. on Memorial Day.
“Everyone can socially distance in their own vehicles. The parade will start at 10 a.m and then caravan through Ridgefield and end up on Main Street. We will pause for a moment of remembrance when we drive past St. Mary’s cemetery (veterans graves are marked with American flags).
The planned parade route is:
Start in Ridgefield High School main parking lot;
Left on Ridgebury Road;
Right on Ledges Road;
Right onto Barlow Mountain Road;
Left on North Street;
Left on Copps Hill Road;
Straight through light by Copps Hill Plaza to Farmingville Road;
All the way down Farmingville, then right on Lounsbury Road;
Left onto Ivy Hill Road;
Right on Ivy Hill Road/Florida Hill Road at the intersection by the pond;
Left onto Branchville Road after passing the Lutheran Church;
Right on Rockwell Road;
Right on Main Street and down to the village!