VERGENNES-Addison County veterans families and friends will be observing Memorial Day with five parades, of varying size, this year-Vergennes,Middlebury, Bristol, Orwell and Hancock.
In nearby Rutland County, Brandon will also host its annual parade. However, the Vergennes parade is the state's largest and most attended. The Vergennes Memorial Day Observance is planned for Monday. May 30.
According to Vergennes American Legion member John Mitchell, "the City of Vergennes and the parade sponsor, Vergennes American Legion Post 14, can't guarantee sun, but we can promise to deliver another classic Memorial Day parade."
This year's Vergennes parade theme is Forget-Me-Not and will include the annual flyover by F-16 fighter jets from the Vermont Air National Guard. As has been the case for half a century, Legionnaire Henry Broughton will chair the parade committee and coordinate the activities of the many floats and activities.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Vergennes Union High School. Ten marching bands, color guards, veterans' groups, scouts, fire trucks, antique cars, and other participants will gather at VUHS before the parade starts.
This year's parade marshall is Richard Poquette, a Vergennes resident and World War II U.S. Navy combat veteran.
The two-mile-long parade follow a route along Monkton Road to the downtown area. The parade will turn onto Main Street as it heads to Vergennes City Hall.
At Vergennes City Park, visitors can gather a special reviewing stand. Local resident Ann Sullivan will announce and identify the groups and individuals in convertibles.
This year's guest speakers is Capt. James McNulla, USN (Ret.), a Vergennes native. McNulla is U.S. Naval Academy graduate and 27-year active duty veteran. He will be joined by Unit 14 Legion Auxiliary President Pam Norton. Norton is a Department of Vermont Auxiliary vice president and president-elect.
The parade's Poppy Girls are Kaylee Colby and Maisa Allen and 2011 Green Mountain Girls' State President Hannah Degraff.