Middletown's traditional Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday, May 27.
It kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs through 11:30 a.m., ending at the American Legion Post 338 in Leonardo. There will be services before and after the parade, and free hot dogs and ice cream at the end.
"It's a nice day, it's a day of remembrance," said Tom Garretson, and ex-American Legion Commander and member of the township Veterans' Affairs Committee. "We usually get a nice crowd on the parade route. I consider it an old-fashioned parade, something like when I was a kid, many years ago."
The parade march is lead by a bagpiper, and features local war veterans and their supporters, brass bands and high school bands from Middletown and Hazlet, the NWS Earle Color Guard, flag twirlers, Middletown and Hazlet Boy and Girl scouts, representatives of all the Middletown fire companies and EMS squads, government officials, community groups and antique cars.
The Grand Marshal is Rich Parsells, 68, a Vietnam veteran with deep roots in Port Monmouth, who is a past commander of the post and currently the man who guides veterans to the services they need.
Prior to the parade, there will be service at Croydon Hall at the World War II monument at 9 a.m. The monument is about 30 feet in from Leonardville Road and walking distance to the parade start. The brief service is led by the commander, chaplain, officers and members of the American Legion Post 338, including the sons of the Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary. All are welcome.
The parade will begin at the Bayshore Middle School on Leonardville Road at 10 a.m.
The route goes from Leonardville Road, to Appletown Road, to Center Ave. to Brevent Ave.
It will then turn right on Highland Ave, left on Leonard Ave, and right on Viola Ave. to end at the American Legion Post 338 Home on Route 36.
After the parade ends, Sen. Joseph Kyrillos and Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger will say a few words, and the veterans place three wreaths at the monument at the front of the building in honor all our veterans from the past, as well as present a plaque to the parade's grand marshal.
Afterwards, the American Legion will welcome the community with free hot dogs, chips, soda and ice cream for the kids.
We'd love to see your photos from the 2013 parade, so take a bunch and post them on Patch after the parade!