210513ind SKMemorialDayFile

A year after the coronavirus pandemic cancelled the 2020 event, the town of South Kingstown will hold its annual Memorial Day festivities Monday, May 31. A parade through town will begin at 10 a.m. and a wreath laying ceremony at Saugatucket Park on High Street is slated for 11 a.m.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Another sign that life is returning to normal came last week, when word came down that South Kingstown will hold its annual Memorial Day parade after a 2020 absence while the region was in a Covid-19 lockdown.

“Last year, Covid-19 forced us to cancel the parade and hold a scaled down version of the annual wreath ceremony to honor the memory of family and community members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” Parade Chairman Steve Stewart said.

Stewart said the committee is inviting organizations to participate in the parade and memorial ceremony, which will start at 10 a.m. Monday, May 31. The wreath laying ceremony will take place after the parade at 11 a.m. at Saugatucket Park on High Street.

The Post and its Parade Committee are putting out the word to get involvement from community groups including veterans, active military, civil and private organizations, local leaders, schools and the public.

“Your support and involvement, especially this year, will reflect the town’s commitment to continue this sacred, patriotic tradition for the coming year,” Stewart said.

All participants and spectators will be required to comply with state and local Covid-19 restrictions that may still be in effect on May 31.

The parade should look fairly similar to past events; Gov. Dan McKee further loosened Covid restrictions for the state on May 7 and plans to remove almost all of them by May 28. Among the remaining restrictions will be the indoor face mask requirement and three feet of spacing indoors.

The parade lineup will be composed of three divisions: Division 1 will include the yet-to-be-named grand marshal and military units. Division 2 will feature firefighting apparatus and trucks, as well as other emergency service vehicles. The third division will be made up of all other groups who choose to be involved.

The committee is asking groups that want to be involved to respond by May 21. Stewart can be reached by e-mail at Stewart81@outlook.com. He also can be reached at 789-1657 for parade-related questions.

The most recent full parade was in 2019, and marked the 150th anniversary of the first parade in South Kingstown, which honored the fallen soldiers from the Civil War. 

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