Memorial Day parade cancelled, wreath ceremonies to go ahead

May 5, 2020

Dartmouth’s annual Memorial Day parade has been cancelled due to coronavirus following a unanimous Select Board vote in a virtual meeting on May 4.

The board voted to cancel the parade following a recommendation from Veterans Service Officer Matthew Brouillette, who wrote that the ceremonies could go ahead.

Board members stated that celebrations could be held in around Veterans’ Day in November instead.

School administrators had told other town officials that the school bands would not be available to perform on Memorial Day.

“The ceremony will go on rain or shine,” said Select Board chair Stanley Mickelson. “They will do the ceremony, stop at the bridge, and throw or place a wreath.”

But board member Shawn McDonald brought up a concern that the streets may be packed just for the wreath-laying ceremonies.

“What do we do about that?” he asked.

Ideas tossed around at the meeting included asking members of the public to stay six feet apart and getting police to help enforce social distancing.

“We can’t keep people off the street, but they have to wear masks,” said Mickelson.

But, he noted, “if things calm down, the residents would love to celebrate.”

Memorial Day is on May 25 this year.