This Monday, May 27, is Memorial Day, a day to honor the dedicated U.S. military members who sacrificed their lives fighting to retain our rights as Americans. Various weekend activities are planned around Wilton to commemorate these heroes along with festivities for residents to enjoy during the long weekend. GOOD Morning Wilton is your definitive guide to everything that’s happening over Memorial Day Weekend in Wilton.

Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 27

All roads in Wilton Center will remain open until 9:30 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. There will be 54 units in this year’s parade–Wilton Police, Wilton Firefighters, Scouts–girls and boys, 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, where ceremonies will start at about 11 a.m. with the firing of a replica of a Civil War cannon.

Honored officials this year are parade chairman, Marine Corp veteran Ray Tobiassen; Grand Marshal Gordon Nugent, a WWII veteran; keynote speaker John P. “Sean” Powers, the commander of American Legion 9-11 Memorial Post 2001 in New York City; Gold Star mother Shalini Madaras; Rev. Caroline Smith of the Wilton Baptist Church; and Wilton High School singer Hannah Mikita.

The ceremonies will end at about noon with the playing of taps and the flag being raised to full staff.

The parade is organized by Wilton’s James B. Whipple American Legion Post 86.

Immediately following the ceremony at Hillside, all veterans and their families are invited to Post 86 (112 Old Ridgefield Rd.), for a picnic.

Check in with GOOD Morning Wilton online and on Facebook for weather-related cancellation notices.

Village Market Annual Hot Dog Sale

Friday, May 24–Monday, May 27

All weekend, Village Market will hold its Annual Boar’s Head Hotdog Cookout. Stop by the tent in the Village Market parking lot (108 Old Ridgefield Rd.), for hotdogs and drinks for only $0.50 each from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Veterans eat for free.

The store is open on Monday, May 29 from 7 a.m.-5 p.m..

Wilton Education Foundation’s ‘Get Smart for Wilton 5K’

Sunday, May 26; Registration begins at 8 a.m., Race starts at 9 a.m.

The Wilton Education Foundation holds its 12th Annual Get Smart for Wilton 5K on Sunday, May 26. This family-friendly, charity event is a chip-timed race on a USATF certified course and attracts over 300 runners each year of all levels, from elite racers to beginners, local runners, teachers, seniors, moms, dads and kids, all raising visibility and funds to support the Wilton Public Schools.

The fundraiser’s 5K route starts and ends at the Wilton High School track, and features Cider Mill and Wilton High School prominently along the course. Cash prizes are given to the top three male and female runners, and awards go to the top three boys and girls under 13. All race finishers under the age of 13 receive a medal.

Pre-registered participants receive a T-shirt. Runners of all ability levels are welcome and proceeds from the race will support enrichment opportunities for Wilton Public School students.

Registration is open online, and runners can also pre-register in person Friday, May 24, from 4-6 p.m. at Comstock Community Center. Pre-registration fees are $27 for adults, $25 for runners 13 and younger; race-day registration starts at 8 a.m. and costs $30 for adults and $25 for runners ages 13 and younger.

Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast

Monday, May 27, 8-10:30 a.m.

A tradition that is more than 35 years old, the Kiwanis Club of Wilton will hold its annual pancake breakfast at the Wilton Congregational Church (70 Ridgefield Rd.), to start the day’s festivities. Enjoy pancakes, sausages, blueberries and coffee, all served to you by the men and women of the Wilton Kiwanis Club.

This year, the Kiwanis Club–Wilton’s longest serving volunteer organization–is also using the event to help kick off an effort to provide an opportunity for families to get more involved with the club. Kiwanis is inviting families looking for ways to introduce service and volunteering as a family activity to become Kiwanis Club family members. Interested families can come for breakfast FREE from 7:30-8 a.m. and then stay to volunteer from 8-9 a.m..

The Pancake Breakfast opens to the public from 8-10:30 a.m. before the parade begins. The price for breakfast is free for volunteer families from 7:30-8 a.m.; after 8 a.m. Adults/Teens (13+) are $10; children (5-12) are $5 and young children under 5 are free.

13th Annual Kick For Nick Memorial Day Challenge

Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m.

One of Wilton’s proudest and most poignant Memorial Day traditions is the Annual Nick Madaras Memorial Day Challenge, a round robin soccer tournament played between local teams, including one made up of fallen solider Private First Class (PFC) Nick Madaras’ friends and former teammates.

Now in the event’s 13th year, organizers are introducing two new elements:

As they do every Memorial Day, friends and teammates of the former Wilton High School soccer star will line up on Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m. at Kristine Lilly Field, to face off against an opposing team to raise money for the Kick For Nick Foundation. But this year, for the first time standing across the center line will be coaches and participants from the new Kick For Nick CT Soccer Academy in Bridgeport. It’s part of the organization’s recent efforts to fulfill its mission close at home as well as overseas.

Not only will the players on the field be different, but organizers are also introducing a $20,000 grand prize raffle–$10,000 will be donated in the winner’s name to Kick For Nick CT Soccer, and another $10,000 will be awarded directly to the winner. Attendees can enter the raffle by donating a new soccer ball. All soccer balls collected will go towards the Kick for Nick global program for underprivileged children.

All proceeds from the event go directly to the Kick for Nick Foundation. In keeping with past tradition, the Wilton Soccer Association will play in front of their friends and families during halftime.

Hot Dogs at Merwin Meadows

Monday, May 27

Immediately following the parade, the Wilton Parks and Recreation Department is hosting free hot dogs in Merwin Meadows.

Merwin Meadows Passes Required Beginning Saturday, May 25

Merwin Meadows Family, Individual and Day Passes are now on sale at the Parks & Rec office in Comstock Community Center (180 School Rd.). Passes will be required to enter the Merwin Meadows beach, water, grounds and playground starting Saturday, May 25 through Sept. 2.

Wilton Transfer Station Closure

The Wilton Transfer Station will be closed on Saturday, May 25 and Monday, May 27 for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, May 28.