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Memorial Day Parade

May 30 @ 10:00 am

This Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day, a day to honor and remember the dedicated U.S. military members who fought to retain our rights as Americans, and who are now gone. The parade is organized by Wilton’s James B. Whipple American Legion Post 86.

  • All roads in Wilton Center will remain open until 9:45 a.m., when all town center roads as well as Rte. 33/Ridgefield Rd. between Rte. 7/Danbury Rd. and Drum Hill Rd. will be closed in preparation for a 10 a.m. parade start.
  • The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. Monday, on River Rd. in Wilton Center, and will feature Wilton Police, Wilton Firefighters, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, youth sports teams, the Wilton High School Marching Band, bagpipers and several local organizations including the Wilton Garden Club, Wilton YMCA, Wilton Library and many others. They will line up in advance along River Rd. near Wilton Hardware and will proceed north to Old Ridgefield Rd., past the Wilton Congregational Church and on to the Hillside Cemetery.
  • The parade’s Grand Marshal will be long-time Wilton resident and 64-year member of the American Legion Post 86, Ernest “Bing” Ventres, an Air Force Veteran who was Post Commander for over 20 years.
  • The ceremony’s honored speaker will be Paul Richards, who served two combat tours in Vietnam. WHS student Aki Lasher is the singer and Cantor Harriet Dunkerley of Temple B’nai Chaim is the Chaplain.
  • The CT Army National Guard 102nd Band will be marching and playing the National Anthem at Hillside. WHS student Jake Katz is the bugler. Army Ranger veteran and Post 86 member Drew Kennedy is the Bagpiper.

The Wilton Memorial Day Parade is organized by a dedicated group of volunteers:

  • Chairman Jim Newton served a 13-month tour in Vietnam in 1967 as an artillery forward observer. He was wounded in the leg and chest by enemy grenades and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Newton and his wife have lived in Wilton for 45 years.
  • Administrative Assistant Pam Brown is the executive administrator of the Wilton Congregational Church as well as the operations manager of Hillside Cemetery.
  • Administrative Assistant Coleen Amero is a six-year member of the committee. She works at the Wilton Congregational Church, where she is responsible for day-to-day operations, and administrative support. Amero and her family have lived in Wilton since 2014.
  • Treasurer Jeff Turner is in his 19th year as a member of the committee, including a stint as Chairman. Turner retired as a Navy Commander after 22-years of distinguished service, including two deployments to the Persian Gulf during the Iraqi/Iran conflict and the Mediterranean during the Lebanon hostage crisis. Having served in commanding and executive officer positions, he received a total of 11 personal and unit awards.
  • Ventres, this year’s Parade Grand Marshal, has served on the committee since its inception, including times as its chairman. He enlisted in the Air National Guard before graduating high school and served with the 103rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. He was training as a vehicle maintenance mechanic. His unit was twice ordered to stand by for deployment to Korea during that war, but was never activated and deployed.
  • Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps President John Meyers joined the committee this year as a consultant. He has been an EMT and a member of WVAC for six years. He has served on the Operations Committee for almost the entire period, first as secretary, now as president.
  • Wilton Police Lt. David Hartman is a Wilton native and a graduate of Wilton High School. He has been a member of the Wilton Police Department since 1999 and currently serves as president of the Wilton Police Benevolent Association. He is an active member in the Wilton community, a great supporter of Wilton’s veterans and continues to give back to the community. Hartman is serving on the committee for the first time.
  • Tom Moore serves as secretary for the committee and is a five-year veteran of the US Army. A 29-year member of the American Legion, he has been with Post 86 for 23-years. Married to Nancy for 34-years, he serves as a member of the committee as a salute to those service members and veterans who have passed to Post Everlasting.


May 30
10:00 am
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Town Center