Fairfield this Memorial Day offers multiple opportunities to be patriotic, to be entertained and, of course, to eat.

The town's Memorial Day parade today (Monday, May 29), featuring bands, floats and a total of nearly 80 marching units, begins at 10 a.m. and will be sandwiched between two public feasts -- the annual pancake breakfast sponsored by St. Paul's Episcopal Church and a community picnic hosted by the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

The parade this year will pay special tribute to Vietnam-era veterans, some of whom were criticized by anti-war activists for serving and many of whom returned home not to heroes' welcomes, but to indifference.

Parade-goers Monday morning can start their day with pancakes, sausages and beverages at St. Paul's, which sits on Old Post Road next to Town Hall Green, then stay right there to watch the parade go by.

The parade steps off at 10 a.m. from the intersection of Post and South Pine Creek roads. Units will march east on Post Road to Old Post Road, south and then east on Old Post Road, passing Town Hall Green before disbanding just east of South Benson Road.

The parade theme is "We Welcome Home Our Brave Vietnam Veterans Who Served So Well With Heartfelt Thanks, Respect and Honor This 2012 Memorial Day."

More Information

MEMORIAL DAY IN FAIRFIELD Pancake breakfast: 7:30 to 11 a.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 661 Old Post Road. Pancakes, sausages and beverages. Proceeds benefit St. Paul's charitable work. Parade: 10 a.m. Memorial Day parade steps off from Post and Sout Pine Creek roads. The line of march heads east along Post Road to Old Post Road, then follows Old Post Road east past Town Hall Green and disbands at South Benson Road. Community picnic: noon to 3 p.m at the Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road. Bring a picnic or buy food from the Kiwanis Club. Family games, self-guided walking tours of nearby historic sites and free admission to the museum.

Four veterans have been named parade marshals: Joe Gall of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9427; Timothy Kelly of American Legion Post 74; Thomas F. Browne Jr. of American Legion Post 143, and John Short of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 19.

The parade chairman is James Bender, of VFW Post 9427, and the master of ceremonies will be David Hogarth.

Musical units include bands from Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde high schools, plus the middle school bands and others, including a pipe band and a banjo band. Also featured are at least eight floats, plus perennial parade favorites the Shriners Motor Patrol.

The community picnic is planned from noon to 3 p.m. at the museum, 370 Beach Road. Attendees may bring a picnic or purchase food there from the Fairfield Kiwanis Club.

MEMORIAL DAY IN FAIRFIELD

Pancake breakfast: 7:30 to 11 a.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 661 Old Post Road. Pancakes, sausages and beverages. Proceeds benefit St. Paul's charitable work.

Parade: 10 a.m. Memorial Day parade steps off from Post and Sout Pine Creek roads. The line of march heads east along Post Road to Old Post Road, then follows Old Post Road east past Town Hall Green and disbands at South Benson Road.

Community picnic: noon to 3 p.m at the Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road. Bring a picnic or buy food from the Kiwanis Club. Family games, self-guided walking tours of nearby historic sites and free admission to the museum.