Thousands of spectators lined the streets of downtown Shelton on a warm morning for the annual Derby/Shelton Memorial Day parade. (Photos by Brad Durrell)

They brought lawn chairs and blankets with them to sit comfortably along the parade route, as well as small American flags to wave as the marchers went by.

There were veterans and youth sports teams, volunteer firefighters and school marching bands, police officers and Scout troops, public officials and local civic groups, and fife-and-drum corps and theatrical troupes.

'I love the parade’

“I love the parade,” said Denise Sura of Shelton, who was sitting on the Derby/Shelton Bridge with her husband Robert. “I’ve been coming my entire life.”

“She never misses a year,” Robert Sura said of his wife.

This year’s parade began in Shelton and ended in Derby, where large crowds also awaited the marchers.

The parade lasted about two hours, beginning at 9 a.m. in Shelton at Howe Avenue and Wharf Street, and finishing slightly before 11 a.m. in Derby on Elizabeth Street.

Ceremony on the bridge

On the bridge over the Housatonic River, the parade stopped for awhile for a brief ceremony, where a ceremonial wreath was thrown in the water to remember and honor all those lost in service to their country.

The parade’s chief of staff, George H. French from the Marine Corps League Valley Detachment, was given the responsibility of throwing the wreath.