WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield American Legion Martin Wallberg Post #3 has announced plans for the town’s 2016 Memorial Day Parade and a barbecue picnic, to be held May 30.
Opening ceremonies for the parade are set to begin at 9 a.m. at the World War I Monument Circle downtown. Participants marching in the parade are asked to to be at the Lord & Taylor West parking lot by 8 a.m.
Opening ceremonies will include remarks by Mayor Andy Skibitsky and Allan Betau, commander of Post #3, who will offer a perspective on military conflicts since WWII. Bob D’Arecca, chaplain for Post #3, will offer the opening prayer and benediction.
Performer Kerry Stubbs will sing “God Bless America;” the Westfield High School band, headed by Chris Vitali, will play the “Star Spangled Banner;” and Ted Schlosberg from the New Jersey Workshop for the Arts and WHS junior Dale Beyert will play “Echo Tapps.”
Wreaths will be laid by the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion, Diana Kopolow for the Westfield PAL, Jeff Bryn on behalf of the Westfield Booster Association and Girl Scouts.
The parade will begin after series of tolls from the bell tower at the First United Methodist Church coordinated by Jack Panosh, Westfield Bell Master and town clock curator.
This year’s Grand Marshal, Carlos Granados, with a contingent of veterans and members of the New Jersey National Guard, will lead the parade. Mayor Skibitsy, members of the town council, police, firefighters, employees of the department of public works and several youth and civic organizations will march to tunes played by the Westfield High School Marching Band and the Westfield Community Band.
The parade will proceed north on East Broad Street to Fairview Cemetery, where a closing ceremony will be held by The American Legion. Soft drinks will be provided there.
After the parade, The American Legion will host a barbecue picnic on the corner of Crossway and North Avenue. The legion is offering a one-year free membership to those who sign up at the picnic.
In the event of rain on the day of the parade, call 908-233-2767 for a recorded message. If the parade is cancelled, a contingency plan for the ceremony will be given in the recording.
Bathrooms will be available during the parade at the First United Methodist Church.
The parade committee thanked the management of Lord & Taylor for use of their parking lot.