This Sunday, Sept. 10, marks the 17th year for the CT United Ride, Connecticut’s largest 9/11 tribute. The motorcade will pass through Wilton as part of the annual tradition remembering those who lost their lives during the terrorist attack in 2001. The ride also fundraises for firefighters and law enforcement officers throughout the state.
The motorcycle ride draws approximately 5,000 riders, as well as close to 15,000 spectators along the route, which winds through ten towns–Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Redding, Bethel, Monroe, Newtown, Trumbull, Fairfield and Bridgeport. Riders are often dressed in patriotic red, white and blue and carry American Flags on motorcycles that stretch out over miles, and it usually takes up to 45 minutes for the entire line of riders to pass through Wilton.
The first year’s ride was staged as a fundraiser for New York City following the attacks at the World Trade Center. Now, proceeds from the donations from riders supports Connecticut law enforcement, firefighters and two United Way organizations. Riders and passengers pay $25 apiece to participate.
Route 7 northbound will be closed to traffic other than the CT United Ride, for the duration of the motorcade. Riders are expected to enter town at approximately 11:45 a.m. traveling north. It is anticipated that the motorcade will last for approximately 45 minutes, leaving Wilton at approximately 12:30 p.m..
During this time access to sections of Rte. 33 (Westport Rd.) and Route 7 (Danbury Rd.) will be restricted. Specifically, adjacent streets on the east side of Rte. 7, north of the Rte. 7 and Westport Rd. intersection, will not be able to enter Rte. 7. In addition, adjacent streets on the west side of Rte. 7 will be restricted to entering Rte. 7 in a southbound direction only. Wilton Police officers along with members of Wilton CERT will be staged at all major intersections along the motorcade route to assist with traffic. Wilton’s safety officers ask motorists to plan travel arrangements accordingly.
Police also say that spectators are urged to pick a safe location to view the motorcade. With plenty of parking available at the tennis courts and Wilton High School, plus accessible sidewalks, watching the motorcade between School Rd. and Wilton High School is an optimal spot. There’s typically a large American flag held aloft by a cherry picker aerial truck over Rte. 7 at that intersection.