Billed as the ‘largest’ Memorial Day parade in Maine by the city of Auburn, more than 80 units will march Monday through Auburn to Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston for the Twin Cities’ annual Memorial Day ceremony.

Sen. Susan Collins will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony, while Todd S. Desgrosseilliers, a 31-year Marine Corps veteran, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.

Sen. Susan Collins

The Memorial Day parade is part of Auburn’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration. Units in the parade include bands, honor guards, floats, including one honoring the Iwo Jima memorial, countless veterans and several community groups.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Mill Street in New Auburn near the Bernard Lown Peace Bridge and continues on Main Street to Court Street. After turning left on Court, the parade turns right on Turner Street and circles Great Falls Plaza before crossing Longley Bridge and ending at Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston.

Once participants reach the park, the L&A Veterans Council will host a somber ceremony, scheduled for 11 a.m., to honor and remember veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice and died in service to the U.S.

In addition to words from Collins and local elected officials, the ceremony includes a prayer, the playing of taps and the firing of a cannon. A Civil War re-enactment group will also take part in the ceremony.

Officials will unveil the 31st granite monument honoring more than 200 Lewiston-Auburn servicemen. A new bench from the Douglass family will honor their grandson, Shingo Douglass, who died aboard the USS Fitzgerald in 2015 when it collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan. Douglass’ grandfather is a past commander of the Auburn VFW and serves on the L&A Veterans Council.

Desgrosseilliers, the grand marshal and an Auburn native, is a retired Marine colonel who served in the Middle East and other operations. He has earned a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars with valor, two Purple Hearts and several service, commendation and achievement medals.

Auburn will also host a Civil War encampment in Moulton Park on Main Street and an Art in the Park show in Edward Little Park, located in front of Community Little Theatre. The art show, which goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., includes a farmers market and food trucks. The Civil War encampment of Company A of the 3rd Maine Regiment opens Sunday at 9 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m. Monday, closing only for the parade.

City of Auburn graphic

City of Auburn graphic