New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

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Mayor, Common Council Fund Memorial Day Parade

The Common Council voted to restore previously cut funding for New Britain’s Memorial Day Parade. Last year, New Britain’s budget eliminated funding for the city’s traditional Memorial Day Parade. Consequently, the annual event was canceled.

Within the first week of his taking office this past November, Mayor Timothy O’Brien– informed of 2011’s parade funding elimination– immediately instructed Parks & Recreation Director, Bill Demaio, to move forward and begin organizing a Memorial Day Parade for 2012.

To cover costs associated with the parade, The Veterans Affairs Division has been accepting donations. Tonight, the Common Council and Mayor Tim O’Brien will approve an additional $15,000 in funding to supplement money raised by the Veterans. This funding will be achieved through a departmental transfer of funds.

“I want to thank those who stepped forward to financially assist the city in honoring our veterans,” said O’Brien. “This is an important parade. We must acknowledge the new wave of veterans– just now returning home– and all they have done for our nation.”

At the request of Mayor O’Brien, Council President, Michael Trueworthy is sponsoring the resolution. “This parade, which recognizes the sacrifices our veterans, is an important civic event that people have come to expect,” said Trueworthy. “I’m happy that the new administration has chosen to reinstate the parade”.

The parade is scheduled to take place on May 30, and will include representatives from various veterans organizations, alderpersons, state and local officials, city groups such as the EMS, fire and police departments, New Britain’s middle and high school bands, Boy Scout packs and Girl Scout troops, the New Britain Little League, a soccer league, and many other city groups, all of whom look forward to annual participation in the New Britain event.

The additional funding will allow the parade occur and will attract viewers by allowing the inclusion of entertainers such as the Fife and Drum Corps, clowns, jugglers, stilt walkers, and the ever-popular Pyramid Shriners Motor Patrol. It will also cover costs associated with signage, shuttle busses, advertising, and additional part-time, temporary staff necessary to organize the parade.

Private donations towards the parade have defrayed the cost by $700. The New Britain Municipal Employee Community Service Association, contributed $500.