Fairhaven Memorial Day Parade
Memorial Day Parade, Monday, May 27, 2019, 8:30 a.m. Main Street, from Center Street north to Riverside Cemetery. Units will march from Center and Main streets north to Riverside Cemetery. There will be a pause at Fairhaven High School for the raising of the “Big Flag” with the National Anthem performed by Fairhaven High School music students. At Riverside Cemetery there will be a ceremony at the Civil War monument, followed by a cannon salute. The public is encouraged to line the route, and homeowners are encouraged to fly the flag. In case of rain, go to Town Hall, 40 Center St., Fairhaven.
At Fort Phoenix at 7 a.m. on Monday, 5/27, the Boy Scouts will raise the flag, and at 5 p.m., will lower the flag near the cannons.
The Revolutionary War era will come to life again in Fairhaven during a two-day historical encampment scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26, 2019 at Fort Phoenix.
During the weekend, members of the Fairhaven Village Militia and the Wareham Minutemen and Militia Companies, will live in an authentic period camp the same way it was done 240 years ago. Men, women and children dressed in period clothing will reenact life in 1778 and talk about the history of the fort. They will also be demonstrating campfire cooking, fire starting with flint and steel, musket ball casting, military drilling, loading and firing flintlock muskets and rifles, tin-smithing, leather working, sewing, cannon firing and more. The militia’s chaplain will deliver Revolutionary War period sermons. Visitors may try their hand at tomahawk throwing and children’s games of the period.
The highlight of the weekend will be the firing of the fort’s five large cannons, scheduled for dusk, approximately 7:45 p.m., on Saturday. When fired near sundown, the cannons’ plumes of flames and smoke make a spectacular sight.
The militia began as a small volunteer group in 1999, made up of local people who were interested in local history of the Revolutionary War period. The name Fairhaven Village Militia was adopted in 1993, the same year the first Fort Phoenix encampment was held. The group’s commander, Ellsworth Sylvaria Jr., is a descendant of Bartholomew West, whose home was burnt down by the British in 1778. Captain of Artillery Wayne Oliveira was originally a member of Donald R. Bernard’s Fourth Old Dartmouth Militia.
Since the group started its programs, thousands of people, including hundreds of school children, cruise ship passengers, visitors, and local residents have visited them at Fort Phoenix. The militia has also taken part in events in the surrounding communities of Mattapoisett, Marion, Dartmouth, and Acushnet and at Fort Taber in New Bedford.
At the encampment, the group is depicting camp life during the Revolutionary War period. There will be regular demonstrations of military drilling and musket firing, but there will be no large-scale battle re-enactments.
Both the cannon firing and the overnight encampment will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain. Weather permitting, the militia’s camp will open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until sunset on Saturday and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
New Bedford Events
Several events are planned in New Bedford throughout Memorial Day weekend to honor the courageous men and women who lost their lives serving the United States.
Saturday, May 25, 9:00 a.m. at Rural Cemetery
The Greater New Bedford Civil War Round Table will conduct a memorial exercise at the Union Soldier’s Burial Site at Rural Cemetery, 149 Dartmouth Street. Services typically include historical reenactment, music and a gun salute.
Sunday, May 26, 10:30 a.m. at Pine Grove Cemetery
New Bedford Post 1, The American Legion will conduct a Memorial Day Exercise at the Veterans’ plot in Pine Grove Cemetery, 1100 Ashley Blvd.
12:00 p.m. at New Bedford City Hall
New Bedford Post 1, The American Legion will conduct a Memorial Day Exercise at the Vietnam Veterans’ Honor Roll at New Bedford City Hall (133 William Street) on the William Street side of the building.
Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day), 8:15 a.m. at Rural Cemetery
New Bedford Post 1, The American Legion will conduct a Memorial Day Exercise at the Veterans’ Plot in Rural Cemetery, 149 Dartmouth Street.
10:00 a.m. at Pier 3
The New Bedford Port Society’s Annual Memorial Day Fishermen’s Service, Pier 3, NB Waterfront, 11:30 a.m. City of New Bedford Memorial Day Parade
The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Day Committee and the New Bedford Veterans’ Advisory Board will conduct the New Bedford Annual Memorial Day Parade and Services. The Parade will form at 11:00 a.m. at the intersection of Parker Street and Hathaway Boulevard and will step off at 11:30 a.m. The Parade will travel east on Parker Street to County Street, north on County Street to Pope Street, and east on Pope Street into Clasky Common Park for a Memorial Day Ceremony.
Anyone who attends the service in Clasky Common Park is invited to bring a single flower of their choice to lay at the park’s memorials, in remembrance of a veteran family member or friend.
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