For two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017, Memorial Day in Ridgefield came and went without a parade. Let's think sunshine on Monday, May 28 - the date for the 2018 Memorial Day Parade!
Organized by American Legion Post #78, the Parade steps off at 11:30 am from Jesse Lee United Methodist Church on Main Street.
One of the biggest events kicking off summer in Ridgefield while honoring the men and women who have dedicated their lives to our country, the Annual Parade features a plethora of civic organizations, marching bands, and veteran's groups. Each year, hundreds of locals line Main Street to pay tribute to veterans near and far and celebrate our great country.
We sat down with George Besse, Commander of American Legion Post #78 to get the colorful details of the 2018 Memorial Day Parade.
Who are 2018 Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshals?
Grand Marshall is Dave Campbell
Flyover this year?
Yes, we have a confirmation for it.
Tell me a bit about the various organizations participating in this year’s parade.
We have sent out 79 invitations to every organization that we know of and some responses are still coming in. Currently, there are over 50 organizations that will be marching in the parade. This includes the Firefighters and Volunteers from Ridgefield and surrounding towns. There will be an Army reserve unit from Norwalk that will be in the parade, as well as the Marine Corps Detachment Ridgefield and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The old expression is “if you are not watching the parade you are in it”.
Has the American Legion always been key organizers of the parade?
Yes, the American Legion started the parade in 1921 a year after we received our charter. It was organized by Harry Hull, former Ridgefield selectman, and WWI veteran. The American Legion has organized and run the parade ever since.
Can you give me a general overview of the program this year? Anything different?
The program is pretty much the same for the past several years. It is scheduled to start at 11:30 from Jesse Lee Church with opening remarks, the rendering of Military Honors (21 gun salute) to start the parade which ends at Ballard Green with a closing ceremony that includes short speeches and patriotic music.