Area gears up for four Memorial Day parades

ADDISON COUNTY and BRANDON — On a day for remembering those who have fought and died for our country, Memorial Day honors these brave men and women through parades with veterans and others. Marchers, floats and politicians will be seen in at least four local venues this coming Sunday and Monday.
Orwell will ring in the holiday with its traditional Sunday afternoon parade. This 45th Memorial Day Parade in Orwell lines up at 12:30, and the parade steps off at 1:30 p.m. Orwell Fortnightly Club members are Grand Marshals for 2018.
The 45-minute parade will feature American Legion color guards, local Shriners, the Catamount Pipe Band, the Fair Haven Union High School band, lots of old and new classic cars, and veterans from many branches of the service. It’s a fun parade.
The parade will start out on North Orwell Road and run east on Main Street before heading onto Church Street, circling Roberts Avenue, and bending back to head west on Main Street. Marchers will conclude with a ceremony on the town green that will feature a gun salute, the presentation of flowers at the veterans memorial on the town green, and the Mount Independence Fife and Drum Corps.
Monday, of course, is the big day for parades. Middlebury’s spectacle gets under way at 9 a.m. at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts and follows the traditional route down Main Street and around the village green to the soldiers’ monument at the top of Merchants Row.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Keeping Their Memory Alive.” Officials at American Legion Post No. 27, organizers of the parade, ask us to remember that our fallen asked for nothing but to be remembered when sacrificing their all.
The Brandon Memorial Day parade will be scaled back somewhat this year because of the construction on Route 7 through downtown. There will be some changes to the route, but the monument will be accessible for the girls to continue the long tradition of placing their flowers there. The parade route will have to be shortened considerably and relocated for the safety of participants and motorists due to many issues throughout the construction zone.
Participants in Brandon’s parade will gather near the intersection at the top of Park Street, just before the High Street/Park Street intersection at 9:30 a.m. Beginning at 10 a.m., they will proceed down Park Street to the monument area. Activities will take place in that general area due to the inaccessibility of Central Park. The Dunmore Hose Company will only bring two trucks this year and will use one to block traffic at the Park/High Street intersection. It will be down Park Street far enough to allow cars to pull in and drop off participants, out of the traveled lanes. Parents may also walk their kids up Park Street.
The Brandon Inn is allowing organizers to use the porch of the old Inside Scoop for the sound system. All speeches will happen at that location. It will also provide protection for equipment and people in case of rain. 
Any parade questions can be directed to Jeanne Lamarre of the American Legion at 247-8179, 465-8013 or work- 770-5409.
Vermont’s largest Memorial Day celebration — a parade that usually stretches to two miles — will begin at 11 a.m. in Vergennes. Look for color guards, veterans’ groups, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, lots of colorful floats, antique cars, parade horses, fire trucks, many marching bands, and much more. Longtime Vergennes Union High School teacher and U.S. Navy veteran Ron Nimblett will be parade marshal.
Organizers hope to have a fly-over by Vermont Air National Guard jet fighters during the parade.
Following the parade, Memorial Day services will be held at the Vergennes City Park. After the National Anthem, U.S. Navy veterans an Vergennes native Brian Gebo will give the Memorial Day address.
At the conclusion of the address, the Vermont National Guard will render a 21-gun salute to honor the fallen service men and women for whom Memorial Day exists.
Following the ceremony in the park, the public is invited to attend the annual chicken barbeque at the Legion Post on Armory Lane.

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