While this Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, may look a little different in Wilton than in years past, the purpose of honoring the brave men and women who served our country and gave their lives remains the same.

Organizers made the difficult decision to cancel the parade months ago during a period of COVID uncertainty. However, Wilton is still commemorating our heroes on this very meaningful day. Here is everything planned for this upcoming weekend.

Hillside Cemetery Ceremony 

Monday, May 31 at 10 a.m.

The annual ceremony at Hillside Cemetery (165 Ridgefield Rd.) has been approved by town officials and will be held at 10 a.m. The event will be held outside as usual, and social distancing and masks are required.

The honored officials this year are Grand Marshal Frank Dunn, a Korean War Era Veteran; guest speaker US Marine Corps veteran Jim Newton; and Chaplain Father Reggie Norman of Our Lady of Fatima Church. The ceremony will feature the Wilton High School Brass Choir; Wilton High School singer Lily Mikita; and Drew Kennedy on bagpipes.

American flags will be placed on every veteran’s gravesite on Saturday, May 29, and the main flag at Hillside will be at half-staff until the end of the ceremony.

This year’s Memorial Day committee members include Bud Taylor (chairman), Jim Newton (treasurer), Pamela Brown, Bing Ventres, Jordy Scott, Jeff Turner, Coleen Amero, and Tom Moore. 

Merwin Meadows Activities

Monday, May 31, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Wilton Parks and Recreation Department will host a public event at Merwin Meadows (52 Lovers Ln.) beginning at 11 a.m. Pizza from Dave’s Mobile Planet Pizza Truck will be served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as well as ice cream from the Ice Cream Emergency Truck from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The band The Underdogs will play live music from 3-6 p.m.  

While not required for the event, members of the community can purchase Merwin Meadow’s summer passes through the Parks & Rec eTrak website

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

Sunday, May 30, at 8:30 a.m.

The Wilton Education Foundation‘s Get Smart for Wilton 5k will take place Sunday at 8:30 a.m. The race will begin at the Wilton High School Track and is open to all ages. Participants also have the option to take part in the event virtually. Registration is available online. Pre-registration fees are $27 for adults and $25 dollars for ages 13 and younger; same-day registration fees increase for adults to $30, but the price remains the same for children younger than 13 years old. The money raised will benefit Wilton Public Schools. See the WEF Website for additional details.

Townwide Clean-up

Saturday, May 29, at 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

The annual townwide clean-up event is organized by the Wilton Conservation Commission, with special thanks to 4th grader Elyse Pencu for her persuasive call to action!

Anytime between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., residents can stop by the Wilton Town Green (101 Old Ridgefield Rd.) to pick up gloves and garbage bags and then fan out across Wilton to help pick up litter.

Participants who return with at least one full garbage bag can earn raffle tickets. The raffle drawing for prizes, courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of Wilton, will take place at 12 p.m. (participants must be present to win). All participants get a free slice of pizza, courtesy of Pinocchio Pizza.  The event will be held rain or shine.

What’s Not Happening on Memorial Day 2021

No Parade

As GOOD Morning Wilton recently shared, there will be no parade this year due to previous COVID-19 uncertainty in February when the Memorial Day events are usually planned. It was a decision made by the Memorial Day Planning Committee and not Town officials.

“Memorial Day is not about a parade. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, and the most important part of the day is the fact that we remember our fallen comrades,” Tom Moore, Adjutant of Wilton’s American Legion Post 86, said. Moore pointed out that the Town of Wilton also decided not to hold the Fourth of July fireworks, and he is confident that the committee made the right decision about the parade.

No Village Market Hot-Dog Sale

There will be no hot-dog sale at Village Market this year. “At the point where we had to decide, things were just too iffy,” said General Manager Nancy Dolnier, who is looking forward to returning to the tradition for 2022. Village Market will be open from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday.

Annual Nick Madaras Memorial Day Challenge

As of press time, there has been no word about whether this annual soccer game honoring the life of Wilton’s Nick Madaras will take place. The story will be updated with any further details when available.