The Knox Museum will kick off the 2013 season with its second annual Boots on the Ground, a Memorial Day Weekend community event honoring America’s veterans and active military personnel and their families on Saturday, May 25, at 11 a.m.

The event takes place on the grounds of Montpelier, the big white house just off Route 1 at the turn to St. George in Thomaston. Lt. Col. (ret.) Peter W. Ogden, Maine State Director of Veterans’ Affairs, will give the keynote address. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

A dress parade begins the proceedings at 11 am. Color guards, rifle units, veterans, active military, re-enactors, scouts, drum and bugle corps, bagpiper, and costumed Montpelier docents will gather directly behind Montpelier and march around to the flagpole in front of the building where spectators and special guests will be seated. Parade participation is open to all, and those wishing to march should arrive by 10:30 a.m. and check in with American Legion District 6 Commander Ronald A. Rainfrette, who serves as master of ceremonies for Boots on the Ground again this year.

Following the parade a color guard raises the flag, soloist Harry Grant performs the National Anthem, and some brief speeches, prayers, and tributes are given leading up to Ogden’s memorial address. Ceremonies conclude with a wreath being laid for the fallen in the name of General Henry Knox, who served as Chief of Artillery under George Washington in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies Tenants Harbor Masons and Knox Museum personnel will serve lunch, some of which is provided by generous donations from Hannaford, along with the Masons. Hannaford will also conduct drawings for gift certificates worth $300 of groceries, and Applebee’s contributes two $25 gift certificates for redemption at their restaurant.

Major funding for Boots on the Ground has been provided by Camden National Bank, Allen Insurance and Financial, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust, Central Maine Power Co., and by Lorinda and Bradley Boyd, Holly Boyd and Nicholas Ruffin, and Edwin and Sally Ann Williamson.

Midcoast Community Band, under the direction of Joanne Parker, will provide the musical entertainment, and there will be face-painting and games for children. Radio station New Country Bear 97.1 will broadcast live from the festivities.

Boots on the Ground will go on rain or shine, and attendees are asked to bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Some seating will be provided. For more information contact info@knoxmuseum.org or 354-8062.