BERLIN - The Memorial Day Parade in Berlin is scheduled for Saturday, May 26 this year instead of it’s usual Monday on Memorial Day.
The switch, Charles Colaresi, chairman of the Veterans Commission, said was to avoid the rain, which has forced the parade to be inside the Berlin VFW three of the past four years. The parade has a rain date of Monday, May 28 - Memorial Day.
If it rains then, exercises will be in the Berlin American Legion at 154 Porters Pass at 9 a.m.
“Many organizations look forward to this,” said Colaresi when announcing the switch to the Town Council earlier this year. “It’s very disappointing not being able to do that.”
The parade will start at 9 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church on Peck Street. It will continue down Farmington Avenue before turning left on Massirio Drive, passing the Berlin VFW, a left onto Veterans Way and then conclude at Veterans’ Memorial Park, where a ceremony will take place following, likely a little after 10 a.m..
“We’re looking forward to it,” Colaresi said. “It’s supposed to be good weather.”
A friar from St. Paul’s Parish will conduct an invocation, as The Rev. Joseph Yang from United Methodist Church will conduct the Benediction.
The Berlin High School Madrigal Singers, directed by Tyler Boyle, will sing the national anthem and “America the Beautiful.” The Berlin High School Redcoat Marching Band, directed by Jeff Sirois, will play a patriotic melody and trumpeters will play “Taps.”
There will be a rifle volley by the joint members of the Berlin VFW and Berlin American Legion Post 68.
A flyover by a C-130 airplane by the U.S. Air Force is schedule to happen during the parade around 9:10 a.m., as boy scouts, girl scouts, athletic teams, karate schools and veterans in cars are expected to participate.
This year’s guest speaker is Thomas J. Saadi, recently confirmed Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs commissioner.
A major in the U.S. Army Reserve, which he joined in 2005, Saadi worked in different positions in the Department of Veterans Affairs and performed legal work from different military organizations.
He is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University with a juris doctored form Quinnipiac College School of Law, and is a city councilor in Danbury, where he is also a member of the American Legion and other civic organizations.
Coinciding with the parade is Berlin Volunteer Fire Department car show at Sage Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with music, food and a touch-a-truck section with tractors, construction vehicles and a fire engine for kids.
The proceeds will go toward supporting veterans in the area, with $6,000 collected in the previous year, said former Chief Jim Simons.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.