Before heading out to the beach or firing up the family barbecue, head out to one of the many Memorial Day parades and vigils scheduled across Queens this weekend.
Most of the parades take place on Sunday, May 27, or Memorial Day itself, Monday, May 28, and feature local youth and community groups, elected officials, marching bands, troops and veterans organizations. The star-spangled commemorations serve as tributes to those soldiers who gave their lives in defense of the United States — and celebrations of the freedoms they fought to preserve.
Here are details of just a few Queens Memorial Day marches and ceremonies, in chronological order (all of which are scheduled to take place rain or shine):
The 2018 Memorial Day Parade in Forest Hills will be held on Sunday, May 27, beginning at noon and is hosted by the American Legion. Also marching are veterans and active enlisted as well as officers of the United States Armed Forces. Attendees are asked to gather at 11 a.m. to march on Metropolitan Avenue between Ascan Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard. All who are marching should wear either Class A or Class B uniforms or formal attire.
The 34th annual Maspeth Memorial Day Parade will begin on Sunday at 1 p.m. at 72nd Street and Grand Avenue, with memorial services taking place at 2 p.m. at Maspeth Memorial Park at 69th Street and Grand Avenue.
With a theme of “Maspeth Stands and Salutes the American Flag,” the parade will include marchers from the 319th Statue of Liberty Army Band among seven other bands, United Service Organizations, more than 60 Marines, sailors and Color Guard, floats, antique cars, military vehicles and more.
This year’s Grand Marshals are Maspeth native Kathleen Nealon and Vietnam veteran Frank Caruso.
College Point’s annual Memorial Day Parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the intersection of 28th Avenue and College Point Boulevard and will end at Fifth Avenue and 119th Street. Serving as grand marshal is 9th Transport Company Airborne and Agent Orange survivor William Thumm. Marching bands, drill teams, military members, local police and firefighters and community organizations are also slated to march.
The annual Laurelton Memorial Day Parade will be on Monday, May 28. Marchers will start on Merrick Boulevard between Francis Lewis Boulevard and 230 Street and parade through the streets of the neighborhood from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Rosedale residents will hold their annual Memorial Day parade on May 28. The parade begins on 234th Street between Mayda Road and 145th Avenue and ends at the Veterans and Vietnam Memorial on Sunrise Highway and Francis Lewis Boulevard. Marchers are asked to gather at 10:45 a.m. The parade is hosted by the Rosedale Civil Association and special guests include grand marshals Lawrence Gallmon, Sargent of the U.S. Air Force and Bryan Block, former chairman of Community Board 13Q.
The annual Whitestone Veterans Memorial Association’s Memorial Day Parade will commence at 149th Street and 15th Drive at noon on Monday. The Jewish War Veterans Post 415, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4787, American Legion Post 131 and community groups in the neighborhood are set to participate.
The 80th Ridgewood-Glendale Memorial Day Parade will get underway at 11 a.m. on Monday morning. As tradition goes in even-numbered years, the march will step off from the Ridgewood Veterans Triangle at the corner of Myrtle and Cypress avenues, then head east along Myrtle Avenue into Glendale.
Leading the way at this year’s parade is grand marshal Raymond Whitman, a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Korean War. He’ll be accompanied by hundreds of flag-waving participants along the 1 1/4 mile long parade route to the Glendale Memorial Triangle, at the corner of Myrtle and Cooper avenue. The parade will conclude there with a ceremony.
The Allied Veterans Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale sponsors the annual parade. For more information, call Paul Schottenhamel at 718-366-1359.
Howard Beach residents will again pay tribute to all who served and died in defense of our country with its annual parade on Monday morning. The march steps off at 11 a.m. from Coleman Square, located at the corner of 159th Avenue and 103rd Street, and will wind its way through local streets before returning to the square for a memorial ceremony.
The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, which is widely regarded as the largest parade of its kind in the nation, will begin at 2 p.m. on Monday and run along Northern Boulevard from Jayson Avenue to 245th Street. Brigadier General William H. Seely of the U.S. Navy will serve as grand marshal. The parade will also pay special tribute to Lieutenant Commander Frederick Peter Crosby, a Navy pilot who was killed during the Vietnam War and missing in action for nearly 50 years.
If you know of any other Memorial Day parades happening in Queens this weekend that we may have missed, please email rpozarycki[@]qns.com as soon as possible.