Y’S MEN MEMORIAL DAY PARADE FLOAT
Memorial Day was started as Decoration Day by President Lincoln to honor those soldiers who died in battle to preserve our country. The last Monday was chosen for the plentiful flowers in bloom during May. In 1971 it became an official National Holiday.
Each year, the Y’s Men proudly design, build and contribute a float to the Westport Memorial Day Parade. We do this as a gift to the Town of Westport and it citizens young and old. We aim to educate and to enlighten the viewers about those who died during a specific battle or war.
In recent years we have portrayed Iwo Jima, Washington’s Crossing, WWI Trench Warfare, Lincoln’s meeting with Generals, the Normandy Invasion, the signing of surrender aboard the USS Missouri in 1945 ending WWII, a US patrol in Korea, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, WWII Merchant Marine ship going down, a Flyboy’s WWI biplane, and the creation of our National Anthem during the battle for Baltimore’s Fort McHenry. Each of these floats won the Best Overall Float awarded by the Town.
Like producing a play or movie, these efforts require a large cast of contributors. The process starts in late Fall or early winter with a brain storming session to zero in on a short list of possible ideas. Then our artist and engineers develop a drawing to capture the idea. This drawing is converted into a set of building plans and then the construction begins. Meanwhile the sound track is designed, edited and perfected. Actors are then chosen and costumes ordered and assembled. A dress rehearsal on the weekend prior to Memorial Day brings all the components together. Then on the Saturday prior to Memorial Day the completed subassemblies and sound equipment are taken to a local construction garage and mounted on a flatbed to be towed around the Parade route on Memorial Day. In recent years an honor guard works the parade crowd - handing out descriptions of the float and its purpose.
Please scroll to the end, past all the photos to see the many members who helped with our 2022 Float.
Photos of past floats:
IT TAKES MANY WISE MEN TO MAKE A WINNING FLOAT !
Here are the members that made it happen
Memorial Day 2022
Creative Conceptual Adviser: Jon Fox
Francis Scott Key: Robert Mitchell
Gunner: Al Landis
Second Mate: Peter Kolbrener
Producer: Baxter Urist
Director: Roy McKay
Designer: Hal Foodman
Sound Track Manager: John Brandt
National Anthem: The Staples High School Chorus
Sound Track Producer: Dick Kalt
Signage Design: Mike Guthman
Location Manager: Marty Yellin
Construction Engineer: Hal Foodman
Carpenters: Joe Watson, Bill Blaufuss, Max Guthman
Rough Carpenters: Hal Foodman & Baxter Urist
Signage Production: Mike Guthman
Signage Installation: Larry Lich, Mike Guthman, Max Guthman, Bob Fatherley
Cannon Production: Roy McKay
Painters: Richard Wiener, Baxter Urist, Mike Guthman & Roy McKay Mylar Engineers: Larry Lich & Roy McKay
Mylar Installers: John Brandt, Bill Blaufus, Bob Fatherley, Skip Weverbergh, Mike Boyle, Neil Coleman, Lou Rolla, Dick Kalt Hauling Components: Neil Coleman
Grips & Transport Assistance: Lou Rolla, Mike Boyle, Chuck Greenlee, Skip Weverbergh, Tom Johnson, Chris Lewis, Felix Gomez, Neil Coleman, Bob Fatherley, Dick Kalt
Construction Assistance: Bob Mitchell, Bill Blaufus, Lou Rolla, Joe Watson, John Brandt, Mike Guthman, Joel Wasserman, Peter Nathan, Dewey Losell,
Balloon Blowers: Dick Kalt, Max Guthman, Larry Lich, Bob McGrath, Mike Guthman, Peter Nathan, Bill Caldwell, Bob Mitchell, Hal Foodman
Special Effects Engineer: Roy McKay Publicity: Roy Fuchs
Public Relations & Education: John Brandt and Ed Bloch
Photographers: Bruce Borner, Ted Horowitz, Hal Foodman, Neil Goodkind, Dick Kalt
Photography compilation: Neil Goodkind
Brochure Printing: FedEx Office Print & Ship Center Storage Location: Gault Barn Assembly Location: A. J. Penna & Son Sound Equipment: New England Sound Equipment Float Transport: A.J. Penna & Son
Teardown Team: Bob Fatherley, Larry Lich, Neil Coleman, Baxter Urist, Hal Foodman, Roy McKay,