West Hartford will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 29, 2023, with a parade followed by a Memorial Service, and residents should note that trash and recycling pickup will be delayed by one day all week.
By Ronni Newton
The Town of West Hartford’s traditional Memorial Day parade will return for 2023, with Jerry Gorss, a Conard High School graduate who retired from active duty in the U.S. Army as a major in 2020 and is currently a member of the United States Army Reserve and military academy liaison officer, chosen to lead the parade as grand marshal.
The hour-long parade – a tradition which began in West Hartford in the 1920s to welcome returning World War I veterans – will kick off at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2023.
Parade units will assemble at 9:30 a.m. in their designated areas west of Woodrow Street, and the parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Woodrow and Farmington Avenue, turn down South Main Street, and end at Town Hall.
The parade is expected to last 45 to 60 minutes, and will include the marching bands from all five public secondary schools, as well as veterans groups, community organizations, the town’s police and fire departments, scouts, and sports teams. Each group marching in the parade will honor at least one veteran, and those names will be announced at the reviewing stand on South Main Street opposite the library.
An exciting moment is expected to occur mid-way during the parade – when the unmistakable roar of a C-130 will be heard as Connecticut native and third-generation Connecticut Air National Guard 1st Lt. Alexandra Pagoni performs a flyover above the parade route.
Pagoni is a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, Air National Guard.
The weather forecast for Monday is for mostly sunny skies with temperatures rising to the mid-80s by the afternoon, but in the event of inclement weather, the parade will canceled. A notice will be posted on the town’s website.
“Immediately following the parade each year, a brief Memorial Day ceremony is held at the Veterans Memorial to bring special meaning to the holiday,” Renée McCue, parade coordinator and public relations specialist for the Town of West Hartford said in a news release.
Gorss will be keynote speaker for the ceremony, which is expected to begin at roughly 11 a.m.
In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will still take place but will move indoors to the Town Hall auditorium.
If you can’t attend in person
Coverage of the parade and ceremony will also be available for viewing by West Hartford Community Interactive via Comcast channel 5, Frontier channel 6098 and on the WHCi YouTube channel.
Parking and traffic flow
Parking is free all day on Monday, May 29 at all municipal parking sites other than garages where fees will apply.
On-street parking, however, is prohibited beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 29 until the parade is completed on the following parade route streets:
- Pleasant Street, west side, from Whitman Avenue to Farmington Avenue
- Farmington Avenue, both sides, from Walden Street to Raymond Road
- South Main Street, both sides, from Brace Road to Burr Street
Several of the streets surrounding the parade route that provide access to South Main Street and Farmington Avenue will also be closed beginning at 9 a.m. Through traffic is advised to seek alternate routes.
The parking ban is expected to be lifted by 11 a.m., and roads are expected to clear by 1 p.m.
Municipal parking will resume normal operation on Tuesday, May 30 at 6 a.m.
Trash, recycling, and bulky collections during the week of May 29 through June 2 will be one day late following Monday’s Memorial Day holiday. According to Paine’s, Monday’s collection will be done on Tuesday and all other collections will also be moved ahead one day.
In recognition of the Memorial Day holiday, West Hartford Town Hall will be closed all day. The Yard Waste and Recycling Center, Elmwood Community Center, both senior centers, and schools will closed on Monday, May 29, 2023. The libraries will be closed on Sunday, May 28 as well as Monday, May 29, 2023.
Most retail businesses are open on Memorial Day, but it is a federal holiday and banks are closed and there is no U.S. Postal Service mail delivery.
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