The annual Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Memorial Day Parade, one of the largest in the state, gets underway at 11 a.m. Monday and proceeds down Delaware Avenue from south of Sheridan Drive to Lincoln Boulevard to Elmwood Avenue.
It will feature dozens of marching units, including high school bands, fire departments and community groups.
Grand marshal will be Dorothy Sowers, founder and former coach of the Town of Tonawanda Aquettes synchronized swimming team, which has won more than 2,000 titles in regional, sectional and national competitions since it was established in 1961.
Prior to the parade, members of Brounshidle Post 205, American Legion, will hold their annual wreath-laying and 21-gun salute beginning at 8 a.m. in Failing Cemetery at Delaware and Willow Breeze roads.
Ceremonies also will be at held at the Veterans Monument at Colvin Boulevard and Brighton Road at 8:15 a.m.; the Vietnam Memorial at 8:30 a.m.; the VFW Monument in Elmlawn Cemetery at 8:45 a.m.; the Field of Honor in Elmlawn at 9 a.m.; the World War II Monument in Mount Olivet Cemetery at 9:15 a.m.; the Municipal Building at 9:20 a.m.; and the monument in front of the Brounshidle Post, 3354 Delaware Ave., at 9:30 a.m.
Throughout the weekend, there will be parades, wreath-layings and other ceremonies:
• Lakeside Cemetery, in collaboration with Hamburg Township Post 1419, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Cub Scout Packs 143 and 592, will honor veterans with a special ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in Lakeside Cemetery’s Field of Valor near the Camp Road entrance.
• As part of Catholic Cemeteries of Buffalo’s “Serving God and Country: A Memorial Day Salute to Our Heroes,” a Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 3063 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga. Officiating will the Rev. John Mack, a former Air Force chaplain.
Memorial Day Masses also will be offered at 10 a.m. in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna; Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lewiston; and Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.
• The Niagara Falls Veterans Memorial Commission will hold a parade at 11 a.m., proceeding from the City Market, 1800 Pine Ave., to the American Veterans Monument in Hyde Park. The parade will include police, fire and military vehicles as well as marchers, along with classic and antique cars, clowns and other floats.
At a ceremony at the monument to start about 12:30 p.m., keynote speaker Lt. Col. Mark Onesi will share his experiences of being inside the Pentagon during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
There also will be musical performances by Nick Zawacki, the Rainbow Singers, Tomorrow Allen-Collins, Lora L. Allen and Terra Tonellato.
• Riverdale Cemetery Association holds a ceremony at noon in the Veterans Section of Riverdale Cemetery, Old Lewiston Road, Lewiston. Military honors will be rendered by the Conrad F. Kania Detachment No. 230 of the Marine Corps League. Prayers will be said for the deceased U.S. military veterans. Lewiston-Porter High School students will offer a poem, vocals and instrumental music. Guest speakers will be State Sen. Robert G. Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, and Niagara County Legislature Chairman William L. Ross, C-Wheatfield, both veterans.
• Adam Plewacki Post 799, American Legion, will host a memorial Mass and military salute service at 11 a.m. Sunday in St. Andrew’s Parish, 111 Crocker St., Sloan. The military salute will include a reading of the names of veterans who have died since Memorial Day 2014.
• Pvt. Leonard Post Jr. Post 6251, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will lead a salute to veterans at 1 p.m. at Veterans Plaza in St. Matthew’s Cemetery, 180 Old French Road, West Seneca. Reservations are preferred. Call 822-1950 or visit stmatthewscemetery.com.
• The Village of Blasdell will hold its annual Memorial Day Parade at 1:30 p.m., starting from Firemen’s Park, 205 Lake Ave., and proceeding to the community center, 54 Madison Ave., where there will be a brief service, followed by refreshments.
• The Town of Evans Veterans Committee will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 2 p.m. at Evans Town Hall, 8787 Erie Road, Angola. Roger Woodworth, president and CEO of Veterans One Stop, will be keynote speaker. The Evans Veteran of the Year Award will be presented to Army veteran Anthony LaRusso.
• The Jesse Clipper Post 430, American Legion Auxiliary, will lead a Memorial Day ceremony at 2 p.m. at the memorial at Michigan and William streets. Auxiliary members and Gold Star Mothers will place wreaths.
• The Erie County American Legion holds its annual ceremony to honor veterans in Forest Lawn. At 8:30 a.m., flags will be placed on the graves of veterans in the Field of Valor and the cemetery’s American Legion section. At 9 a.m., ceremony will be held in front of the American Legion Memorial Monument in the Veterans Section, near the Main Street gates.
• The 43rd annual Wilson Historical Society Memorial Day Fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the museum grounds, located at 645 Lake St., Wilson. The American Legion will sponsor a special Memorial Day flag-raising ceremony at noon. The fair also includes a flea market with more than 250 vendors, free entertainment by the Bar Room Buzzards, Chiavetta’s chicken barbecue, hot dogs and burgers, and more. The Antique Car Museum and Museum Depot will be open. Parking is free. A shuttle bus is available.
• More than a dozen groups will join Orchard Park’s Memorial Day Parade, which begins at 9 a.m. at the library, 4570 S. Buffalo St., and continues to West Quaker Street and Veterans Park. Leah Berst, a 2013 Orchard Park High School graduate, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Josef Iqbal, an eighth-grader at Orchard Park Middle School, will recite the Gettysburg Address. Col. Steven Parker, commander of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, will speak.
• Lancaster Post 7275, Veterans of Foreign Wars, holds a memorial service at 9 a.m. in Lake Avenue Veterans Park, followed by a parade from the park along Lake Avenue, School Street, Pleasant Avenue and Central Avenue to Lancaster Town Hall.
• The Town of West Seneca Veterans Committee will lead a salute to veterans at 9 a.m. at Veterans Plaza in St. Matthew’s Cemetery, 180 Old French Road, West Seneca. Reservations are preferred. Call 822-1950 or visit stmatthewscemetery.com.
• The Depew Joint Veterans Committee begins its annual Memorial Day ceremonies with church services held at 9:15 a.m. at Vine Wesleyan Church, 425 Penora St., Depew, followed by a parade from the Village Hall to Veterans Park at 10:30 a.m. and a memorial service in Veterans Park at 11:15 a.m. Refreshments will be served at the Depew Fire Hall on Meridian St. after services.
• The Village of Angola will hold its annual Memorial Day Parade at 9:30 a.m. from the Angola Fire Hall, 41 Commercial St., to Forest Avenue Cemetery for services. The parade then will return to the fire hall.
• St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church, 51 Colonial Circle, hosts an interdenominational service at 10 a.m., with readings, prayers, and music. The program concludes at the War Memorial across the street, with an a cappella chorus of more than 70 people singing “Amazing Grace.”
• The Oakwood Cemetery Association will hold a service at 10 a.m. in the Veterans Section of the cemetery at 763 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, to remember those who have been buried there during the past year and to honor the memory of veterans buried there. Monte and Marcia Jones will provide patriotic songs and there will be a reading of “In Flanders Fields.”
• Catholic Cemeteries of Buffalo’s Memorial Day Masses will be offered at 10 a.m. in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Lockport, and St. Adalbert Cemetery, Lancaster.
• In Eden, Newell-Faulkner Post 880, American Legion, will hold a rifle salute at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cemetery at 10 a.m. The Memorial Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. from Laing Funeral Home, 2724 W. Church St., and proceed to Eden Evergreen Cemetery, where a wreath-laying and service will begin at 11:30.
• The Village of Hamburg Memorial Day Parade starts at 10:15 a.m. from Union Pleasant Elementary School along Main and Buffalo streets to Memorial Park, where a ceremony will take place at 11 a.m.
• The West Seneca parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. from Southgate Plaza and proceeds north on Union Road to the Vietnam Memorial located in front of West Seneca Town Library, followed by a flag ceremony. Guest speaker will be Assemblyman Michael Kearns, D-Buffalo.
• Clarence Post 838, American Legion, leads the annual parade for the Clarence community, which will assemble at 10:30 a.m. from Clarence High School, Main Street and Gunnville Road. The march begins at 11 a.m. and ends at Clarence Town Park, 10450 Main St., followed by ceremonies at noon in the Town Park Clubhouse. Chiavetta’s chicken barbecue dinners and drinks will be available.
• George F. Lamm Post 622, American Legion, and Amherst Post 416, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will hold their 76th annual Memorial Day ceremonies at 11 a.m. in the Williamsville Cemetery, 5402 Main St.
• Lake Ontario Post 313, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. in the historic Fort Niagara Cemetery. It will be followed by a reception, open house and flag disposal ceremony will be held at the post, 434 Third St., Youngstown. Residents with unserviceable flags may bring them to the reception.
• Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (C.A.M.P.) will hold a memorial day ceremony to honor Cattaraugus County’s 3,500 Civil War veterans at 11:30 a.m. at the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building, Court and Seventh streets, Little Valley. The ceremony will follow the Little Valley Memorial Day parade and ceremonies at the cemetery.
• The Wales town parade lines up at 11:30 a.m. at Hunters Creek Road, proceeding at noon to the Edmund “Bud” Bogucki Veteran Memorial Park and walkway on Route 20A.
Refreshments will follow the service at the community center, 12345 Big Tree Road, Wales Center. The Wales Center Fire Company will have a Chiavetta’s chicken barbecue to benefit the fire company.
• The Town of Cheektowaga’s ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at the Veterans Monument in Town Park, 3600 Harlem Road.
• The Town of Boston Memorial Day Parade will start at Faith United Church, 8651 Boston State Road, and proceed to the Boston Town Park at 1 p.m. The ceremony will be at the Cpl. David Finger Memorial Flag Pole behind Town Hall at 1:15. Afterward, a small program will be held at the Boston Commons with the placing of wreaths at the World War I, World War II and Korean War markers.
• The 74th/174th Infantry, New York National Guard Veterans Association, will hold a Memorial Day observance at 11 a.m. on the traditional Memorial Day in front of the Doughboy Monument at the Connecticut Street Armory, 184 Connecticut St. Master of ceremonies will be Brig. Gen. Daniel B. Tauriello. The Citizen Soldier plaque will be presented to Staff Sgt. Derek Vasquez.