Memorial Day observances planned around the Valley
Cities and towns across the Blackstone Valley will be festooned in stars and stripes as the Memorial Day holiday will be commemorated, with events scheduled over the weekend to allow people to remember and pay respects to the men and women who have died serving the nation’s armed forces.
The weather for the weekend appears to be mostly pleasant, a stark contrast from the damp and dreary conditions last year that quite literally rained on some Memorial Day parades. Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies with highs in the mid-70s. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm could impact plans scheduled for this evening, but any precipitation is expected to be out of the region by early Sunday morning.
Sunday afternoon is projected to be a partly sunny day with high temperatures reaching into the low 80s. Skies will be partly cloudy on Sunday night as temperatures drop into the low 60s. Monday is expected to be a bright, sunny day with high temperatures in the mid-70s.
The forecast for the region should make for a series of comfortable days spent outdoors at cookouts, parades, fireworks displays, or other Memorial Day commemorations.
In Central Falls, a ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial Park at the corner of Hunt and Illinois streets. The program starts at 9:30 on Monday morning.
The ceremony will include the Central Falls Police and Fire Department Honor Guard, the singing of the national anthem by a Central Falls High School student, a brief speaking agenda, and the playing of “Taps.”
The park will be decorated with well over 200 American flags, as the colors of the country will fill the city.
In Pawtucket, the Pawtucket Veterans Council, along with numerous elected officials from the City of Pawtucket, will engage in a ceremony honoring the 151st anniversary of Memorial Day in remembrance of the men and women from Pawtucket who gave their lives while wearing the uniform of the nation’s armed services.
The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Pawtucket’s Memorial Park at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Exchange Street. The event is family-friendly and open to the public and parking is available in the lot across from City Hall.
“Let us remember with gratitude and pride those who died while serving our country and protecting our freedom,” officials said in a press release announcing the ceremony.
In Lincoln, the annual Memorial Day parade on Monday morning stages at Keefe Funeral Home on Higginson Avenue at 10 a.m. before stepping off at 11 a.m. The parade begins at the corner of Higginson and Smithfield avenues, traveling north on
Smithfield Avenue before turning east onto Walker Street. The celebration continues traveling north onto Chapel Street, continuing onto Great Road, before concluding at Chase Farm. The post-parade celebration at Chase Farm, located at 667 Great Road, with food trucks and live music is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.
In Woonsocket, the United Veterans Council of Woonsocket and the City of Woonsocket invites guests to the annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday at 10:30 a.m. The event will be held at the United Veterans Council of Woonsocket Armed Forces Park on Davison Avenue to honor and remember the selfless patriotism and valor of those veterans who have served. The ceremony will include a short speaking program, the Woonsocket Police and Fire Honor Guards, Woonsocket High School Air Force ROTC, and musical performances by the Woonsocket High School band and soloist Charles Desaulniers.
In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved to the third floor of Woonsocket City Hall, 169 Main St.
In North Smithfield, the town’s annual Memorial Day parade will commence at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning. The parade will feature civic groups and organizations, scouts, school bands, antique cars, youth groups, community agencies, and veterans.
Following the parade, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the North Smithfield Heritage Fair will be held at Heritage Hall, Kendall Dean School,
and the Slatersville church common. The free event will provide fun for the family and promote the town’s history. Featured will be artifacts, antiques, and photo exhibits; Civil War re-enactors; Touch-A-Truck; children’s activities; National Park Service walking tours; tours of Slatersville Congregational Church; exhibits, demonstrations, and plenty more.
In East Providence, the Memorial Day parade hosted by the American Legion – Riverside Post 10 starts at 10 a.m. at Crescent Park Looff Carousel in the Riverside section of the city, 700 Bullocks Point Avenue. The parade heads north on Bullocks Point Avenue to Riverside Square, turning right onto Turner Avenue, then right to Willett Avenue before ending at American Legion – Riverside Post 10 at 830 Willett Ave. around 11:15 a.m.
Gov. Gina M. Raimondo will honor the fallen warriors at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Ceremony on Monday at 1 p.m. at 301 South County Trail in Exeter. Raimondo will be joined by members of the state’s Congressional delegation and other dignitaries to honor those who have died in service of the United States. Following the speaking program, the governor will participate in the traditional wreath laying with Gold Star family members.
In Newport, the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial presents almost 7,000 boots adorned with American flags and name placards representing the lives of the of the service members killed
in action in the global War on Terror following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The boots are on display this weekend at Fort Adams in Newport.
Just over the border in Blackstone, the Memorial Day holiday weekend kicks off today with the dedication ceremony of the Blackstone Common Veterans Memorial. The event is slated to start at 1 p.m. today at the corner of Butler and Main streets.
The celebration continues with the town’s annual parade and fireworks display on Sunday. The parade forms at noon at the John F. Kennedy/ Augustine F. Maloney elementary school complex at 200 Lincoln St. and steps off at 1 p.m. The parade continues onto Mendon Street and then Main Street before turning onto Saint Paul Street and concluding at the the Town Municipal Center. A ceremony will follow the end of the parade in front of the Municipal Center.
Then, from 2 to 9:30 p.m., there will be a fair at Roosevelt Park behind the Municipal Center. The fair includes food, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and amusement rides. Entertainment scheduled for Sunday’s fair includes the Blackstone-Millville Regional High School jazz band from 2:30 to 3:15, Slick Willy from 4 to 6:30 p.m., and Whiskey Knights from 7 to 9:30. Admission to the event is free.
The day-long festivities conclude with a large fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
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Ron Daignault, of Burrillville, pays tribute to fellow marines at the Boots on the Ground Exhibit at Roger Williams Park in Providence in this 2018 file photo. This year’s Boots on the Ground display will be in Newport.