Memorial Day celebrations unofficially kick off summer

By Polly Lynn

The unofficial start of summer kicks off with the Memorial Day three-day weekend. Open-towed shoes, white pants, shorts and tank tops are now permitted (for those who follow traditional “rules” of etiquette.) Barbecues, parades and patriotism are the hallmarks of the holiday.

But despite the fanfare, Memorial Day is a somber federal holiday where we remember and honor the people who have died while serving in the country’s armed forces. (Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day, which celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, observed on Nov. 11 each year.)

In Central Vermont, three towns host annual Memorial Day parades.

Woodstock starts the celebration early, on Saturday, May 23, welcoming all veterans to march in the Ora Paul American Legion Post No. 24’s Memorial Day Parade at 10:30 a.m. The parade starts on School Street by Woodstock Elementary School and marches through the village.

On Memorial Day Monday, May 25, both Brandon and Poultney host parades.

Brandon’s starts at 10 a.m. at the Brandon Post Office right of Conant Square then winds its way down Route 7 to end at the town green. First grade girls place flowers on the town Monument taking part in one of Brandon’s oldest traditions.

Poultney’s starts at 10:30 a.m. at Stewarts’ and marches up Main Street.

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