Memorial Day parades on Long Island are an excellent way to remember the men and women who suffered for our freedom. As the wife of a disabled veteran, Memorial Day is a bittersweet time. My husband remembers the brothers he lost in Vietnam while my children look forward the the long, lazy days of summer.
Our favorite parade is in East Hampton. Usually we book campgrounds or a hotel months before May so we don’t have to drive in the heavy traffic headed to the Hamptons on Memorial Day. Spending the weekend in the Hamptons is a wonderful way to remember our military and kick off the summer. It is also a short distance from Montauk where more Memorial Day events are scheduled.
This year the East Hampton Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 25. This free event takes place during the day from 11 AM to 1 PM on Main Street in East Hampton. You will also be delighted by the array of fabulous boutiques and eateries along Main Street. For more information about the Memorial Day Parade, call (631) 324-0302.
When you’re out as far as East Hampton, why not take it to the end of Long Island’s south shore and visit the Montauk Fine Arts Festival? This annual event is hosted by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce is is held on The Green. There is no admission fee and food and wine are available. The Montauk Fine Arts Festival starts on Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 10 AM and ends on Monday, May 25, 2009, at 6 PM. To find out more call (631) 668-2429.
The Bethpage Federal Credit Union Air Show will be held at Jones Beach State Park on Saturday, May 23, 2009, and Sunday, May 24, 2009. We’ve attended this spectacular several times over the years. Aerial demonstrations are performed by U.S. Navy Blue Angels and other civilian and military performers with air show photos. You can enjoy these Memorial Day demonstrations from 10 AM to 3 PM at Jones Beach.
If you want to attend the largest Memorial Day parade in the nation, it takes place only one county away in Queens. The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade will be held for the 81st time on Monday, May 25 at 2 PM. The parade route is traditionally along Northern Boulevard from Jayson Street west to St. Anastasia’s courtyard on Alameda Boulevard. The parade was established by the Little Neck-Douglaston American Legion Post #103 in 1927 and I remember attending it as a very small child. Often power players such as the Mayor attend this prestigious Memorial Day Parade. For more information, call (718) 279-3200 or visit http://www.memorialdayparade.org.
Although it’s not actually a parade, the Old Bethpage Village Restoration is holding Sheep To Shawl and Music, Too on Memorial Day weekend everyday from 10 AM to 5 PM. Family-friendly activities include band concerts, dancing, craft demonstration, sheep shearing, weaving, wool spinning and carding, 19th century children’s games, fiddle music and historical “baseball” games. This is a great way to introduce the excitement and importance of history to little ones who may not fully understand Memorial Day. For more info, call (516) 572-8400.
While you’re at Old Bethpage, take a ride over to Levittown to visit the Annual Memorial Day Weekend Festival at the Tri-County Flea Market complete with rides, midway, petting zoo and entertainment. Thursday, May 21, from 5 PM to 11 PM; Friday, May 22, from 1 PM to 11 PM; Saturday, May 23, from noon to 11 PM; Sunday, May 24, from noon to 11 PM; and Monday, May 24 from 1 PM to 9 PM. For more info, call (516) 579-4500.
Check with your local American Legion, VFW Chapter, Rotary Club and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts chapters to find out about more Memorial Day parades and events in your neighborhood. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!