Written by Michael P. Walsh
WEST HAVEN, CT — Grand Marshal Emery Linton Sr. steered West Haven's Memorial Day parade Monday morning, May 30, from a golf cart driven by city Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo.
Linton, an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War in 1970-72, led the 40-unit procession of veterans, bands and dignitaries, including Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and other city officials, along Campbell Avenue.
The parade stepped from Captain Thomas Boulevard north to Center Street, where a sea of people lined the 1 ½-mile route, American flags waving, for the annual patriotic march.
Linton, 73, was tapped by the West Haven Veterans Council, which helps the city organize the parade, for his years of service to the military, his fellow vets and his community.
The 90-minute parade commenced with a dramatic flyover by a C-130 Hercules, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft operated by the Connecticut Air National Guard.
The event, in memory of the deceased members of the U.S. armed forces of all wars, is the oldest parade of its kind in southern Connecticut.
In addition to veterans groups and marching bands, anchored by the New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, the procession featured the traditional contingent of youth organizations and sports leagues, dance and Scout troupes, fraternal organizations and service clubs, local and state leaders, police officers and firefighters.
It included cheerleaders from the West Haven Seahawks and a fleet of Jeeps from the Connecticut Beach Cruisers.
The procession also showcased musicians from West Haven's Rock House School of Music performing on a trio of floats made possible by Anthony Augliera Moving & Storage of East Haven and Bruneau's Garage of West Haven.
Guitarist John McCarthy, who owns Rock House, performed on one of the floats with acclaimed theater and film actor Connor Antico and Paul Pesco, a renowned New York session guitarist who has recorded and toured with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Hall & Oates and Madonna.
Antico, 27, of Stamford, is starring in the fall debut of the John Mellencamp musical, "Small Town," in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also releasing an extended play record, "Make Something Beautiful," produced by Pesco.
A wreath-laying ceremony was held after the parade at the World War I Armistice Memorial on the Green.
Also after the parade, McCarthy jammed with Pesco, Antico and other notable musicians at an all-star tribute concert celebrating John Ziada, the late West Haven restaurateur and community volunteer affectionately known as Johnny Z.
The hour-plus show, attended by concertgoers of all ages, took place in the middle of Campbell Avenue in front of Z's Corner Cafe, Ziada's live music mecca.
— MICHAEL P. WALSH, Public Relations Information Coordinator
Grand Marshal Emery Linton Sr. steers West Haven's Memorial Day parade up Campbell Avenue on Monday morning, May 30, from a golf cart driven by city Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo. Linton, an Army veteran, served in the Vietnam War in 1970-72. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
West Haven Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, holding an American flag while waving to people, leads city and state officials along the Campbell Avenue parade route. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
From left, Paul Pesco, a New York session guitarist who has recorded and toured with Hall & Oates and Madonna, jams with guitarist John McCarthy, who owns the Rock House School of Music, along with Connor Antico, a Stamford theater and film actor, and other guest performers. The mobile "stage" was one of Rock House's three floats, all featuring musicians and performers from the West Haven music school, and were made possible by Anthony Augliera Moving & Storage of East Haven and Bruneau's Garage of West Haven. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
The crowded Campbell Avenue parade route near Atwater Street. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
The West Haven Police Honor Guard leads the procession. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
The West Haven High School Band. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Members of the organization West Haven Vietnam Veterans. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
West Haven resident Jacques Rossignol gives a thumbs-up while driving his 1966 Pontiac Ventura for his fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
The Harry M. Bailey Middle School Band. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
The national champion West Haven Seahawks cheerleading team. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Members of the New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society Pipes & Drums are led by West Haven native John Hines. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
From left, the First Fire Taxation District's Board of Fire Commissioners, Treasurer John Carew, Secretary Herbert Hill and Chairman Bruce E. Sweeney, ride in a 1935 Mack pump firetruck driven by retired West Haven Fire Department Inspector Robert Abate. The firetruck was formerly operated by the department's North End Hose Company. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
(City Photos/Michael P. Walsh)
This press release was produced by the City of West Haven. The views expressed here are the author's own.
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