DARIEN, Conn. -- A patriotic parade of children riding bikes, scooters, wagons and strollers will travel through downtown Darien Saturday for the annual July 4th Push-n-Pull Parade.
Now in its 11th year, the parade is hosted by the Darien VFW Post 6933. In previous years the event has been hosted by the YWCA Darien/Norwalk, which decided to pass the torch this year to the VFW. The parade steps off from the Goodwives Shopping Center at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and will travel down Post Road to Tilley Pond Park, where an Independence Day celebration will be held.
Last year the parade drew close to 2,000 residents. The Darien VFW Color Guard will lead the parade, along with local and state elected officials. The event will also feature a special appearance by Darien resident Joe Warren as Uncle Sam, as well as fire trucks from Darien's three volunteer fire departments.
There will be a contest this year with a chance to win in multiple categories, including a "best decorated" category for vehicles with wheels, a "best decorated" category for a float, and a "most patriotic" dressed family category. All vehicles must be non-motorized. The winners of the contest will be announced at 10:20 a.m. and they will lead the parade as Honorary Grand Marshals along with Uncle Sam and the local dignitaries.
Families wishing to participate in the parade should arrive at Goodwives Shopping Center at 9:45 a.m. Mary Ann Hall's Music for Children will entertain the crowds before the parade begins. When the parade arrives at Tilley Pond Park, there will be food vendors and live entertainment by the Ray and Jay Band. There will also be a number of children's activities such as face painting.
The event is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $10 per family payable at Tilley Pond Park to benefit the VFW Post's current restoration of the former Chapel for Fitch's Home for Soldiers and their Orphans, which was the first veterans' home established in the United States that opened in Darien after the Civil War. The Chapel serves as the VFW's headquarters at 205 Noroton Ave., and they encourage residents to stop by and take a look around.
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