B y Dan King and Krystle S. Morey

Memorial Day will be the focus throughout the area this weekend.

Various towns will have parades and ceremonies to recognize the men and women who have fought and died for American freedom.

Whitehall

Two celebrations take place in the Birthplace of U.S. Navy.

First, at Whitehall Elementary School, students will be putting on the 43rd annual Memorial Day ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The outdoor event includes the singing of patriotic songs, speeches by elected officials and veterans, and a choreographed routine, which commemorates a historical event. Last year the choreographed routine was based on the Battle of Iwo Jima.

A few days later, on Monday the American Legion will host its annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony.

At 8 a.m. Father Rendell Torres will lead a Catholic Mass at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery. If it rains, the event will be moved inside Our Lady of Hope Church.

Following that, at 10 a.m., the parade steps off in front of the American Legion Post on Main Street and heads north, turning down Clinton Avenue, then proceeding down Broadway, looping across Poultney Street, down Williams Street and back to the park.

“It’s a great parade – it’s Whitehall’s only parade of the year,” said Jim Lafayette, parade chairman.

When the parade concludes, a somber ceremony will be held at Riverside Veterans Memorial Park, honoring Whitehall’s deceased veterans.

The parade’s grand marshal this year will be Warren Hildreth, a World War II Navy veteran.

Following the parade and ceremony, a light lunch will follow across the street at American Legion Post 83.

Granville

Memorial Day activities in Granville kick off Thursday, May 26, with a ceremony at the Granville Junior-Senior High School.

Students and community members are invited to attend the event, which will begin at 1 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The school band will play and area veterans will be in attendance.

On Monday, May 30, the VFW 1653 and American Legion No. 323 in Granville have an all-day celebration planned.

The day will start with a prayer and 21-gun salute at the monuments on the front lawn of the Granville Junior-Senior High School at 8 a.m. Then members of the VFW and American Legion will lay wreaths, play Taps and perform a 21-gun salute at Elmwood Cemetery at 9 a.m. and at Mettowee Cemetery at 9:30 a.m.

The Granville Memorial Day parade will start at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Pine and North streets in Granville and proceeds down Main Street to Veteran’s Park. Members of the Granville Little League and local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will march in the parade.

Marchers will make a number of stops along the parade route to lay wreaths and say prayers, including one at the WWII clock at TD Bank on Main Street and another on the Main Street bridge.

“Memorial day is to recognize the ultimate sacrifice veterans made serving our country,” said parade captain Jerry Austin.

Hartford

In Hartford, one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the area takes place at 6 p.m. on Monday.

The parade will start in front of the Hartford Central School and make its way down Hartford Main Street, formerly known as county Route 23, before ending at the Hartford Town Garage.

Hartford supervisor Dana Haff said he has contacted many fire companies about coming to the parade, and he anticipates having trucks from all over Washington County and neighboring Vermont.

Prior to the parade the Hartford Methodist Church will host a take-out chicken barbecue, from 1 p.m. until it is sold out.

For those who like to soak in a little history, especially military history, on Memorial Day, the Hartford Museum and Civil War Enlistment Center on Hartford Main Street will be open. The building is the last remaining Civil War enlistment center in the Empire State.

Poultney, Vermont

In Poultney, a parade starts at 10 a.m. Monday in front of Stewart’s and continues up Main Street.

“Come celebrate the fine men and women who serve our country with honor,” urges the Poultney Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Fair Haven, Vermont

Memorial Day weekend in Fair Haven always means it’s “Spring Fling” time.

The annual Spring Fling in Fair Haven is a social gathering with more than 80 vendors on the town green. The event takes place Saturday, May 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Typically, the Memorial Day parade steps off toward the end of the annual Spring Fling event.

Middletown Springs, Vermont

This year marks Middletown Springs’ 47th annual Memorial Day Parade. The theme is “Freedom and Unity.”

The parade kicks off at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 29. Lineup for the parade will be located on Buxton Avenue and South Street (Route 133).

“Middletown Springs Memorial Day parade has always been the pride of our community. This parade is special. It is a reminder of the sacrifices made for our freedom. It is also a great way to remind all in attendance that we as firefighters sacrifice to help others in need every time the call goes out,” according to the Middletown Springs Fire Department’s Facebook page.

This year, the Middletown Springs Fire Department will award three trophies to participating fire departments marching in the parade. Trophies will be awarded to Best In Show, Runner Up Best In Show, and Antique Apparatus. Marching departments, floats, ATV’s, etc. Candy is permitted.

 

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