Come together safely after a long, dark winter

To the Editor:

The Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs is sponsoring a modified Hilltowns Memorial Day Parade in Berne on Monday, May 31, at 10 a.m.

Because of COVID-19 safety precautions, the parade will be different this year, but we hope it will give the Hilltowns community a chance to come together safely after a long, dark winter.

The parade will assemble in East Berne and move along Helderberg Trail (Route 443), where it can be viewed all the way to the hamlet of Berne. Fire and emergency apparatus, antique military vehicles, floats, and other vehicles will be participating.

There will be no marchers this year. We encourage organizations that have marched in previous years to consider entering a float in the parade instead. There will be no judging.

The usual ceremonies in front of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School will not be held this year. Instead there will be a private ceremony, by invitation only, for first responders and veterans, in the courtyard of the BKW campus. Masks will be required and proper social distancing will be observed.

For members of the public, the ceremony will be broadcast live on one or several venues, such as Youtube or Facebook. BKW has all of its parking spaces Wi-Fi-enabled, the towns and libraries have Wi-Fi available, and the event will be available on smartphones or home computers.

Details are still being worked out. The parade and ceremony will also be recorded for historical purposes, and that will also be available to the public as soon as possible.

Any United States service veteran native to or living in the Hilltowns is invited to participate in the parade. Please help us spread the word to the Hilltowns veterans and ask them to call or text me, Zenie Gladieux on my cell phone at 518-894-8589, or email me at . There will be space available to transport veterans in military vehicles for the parade.

We would like to know by April 30 if you are planning to participate.

Zenie Gladieux

Parade Chair

Kiwanis Club

of the Helderbergs

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