The West Point Band — officially the U.S. Army Band, West Point — will perform a special “Salute to Ridgefield” this weekend honoring the town’s 50-year tradition of military band concerts in town.

The concert is this Saturday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. at East Ridge Middle School’s auditorium.

The concert is free to the public, and is sponsored by Ridgefield’s American Legion Post 78.

“This is part of our 50th anniversary, sponsoring the military bands,” said American Legion member Jack Herr.

“It’s a special salute to Ridgefield, patriotic themes and music for the whole family.”

Herr has been organizing the military band concerts in Ridgefield all those 50 years, including the decades when the concerts were sponsored by the Kiwanis, before being taken under the Legion’s wing when the Kiwanis ceased operations in town.

The West Point Band is oldest military band in U.S. military, officially founded on June 8, 1817.

“The band traces its lineage to fifers and drummers who were part of Continental Army units at West Point during the time of the American Revolution,” the Army says.

Today, the band is composed of more than 50 musicians.

Featured vocal soloist at Saturday’s concert will be Master Sgt. Mary K. Messinger.

Free tickets are available at Squash’s Ridgefield News Store, Fairfield County Bank, People’s Bank, Limestone Service Station, Early Bird Cafe, and Dimitri’s Diner.

Should the front parking lot at East Ridge fill up, additional parking will be available in the rear of the middle school off Prospect Ridge Road.