Thousands expected at Green Ribbon Ride

Thousands of motorcycles, amidst a sea of Sandy Hook Elementary School-green, are expected to ride through town May 5, to honor the memory of the 26 shooting victims.

When Newtown’s five fire departments decided they wanted to start the Green Ribbon Ride, an obvious choice for ride director was Trumbull resident Fred Garrity Jr. Garrity organizes the CT United Ride, the largest charity motorcycle ride in New England, remembering 9/11. For the Green Ribbon Ride, Garrity has been spear-heading the event with Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Assistant Chief Anthony Capozziello and Trumbull resident Greg Gnandt. Organizing a multi-town motorcycle ride is no small feat, but Garrity said it’s a cause that’s worth the work.

“This is a home-grown event,” Garrity said. “We expect thousands and we encourage people to come out on the route and wear green.”

The roughly 30-mile ride will be Sunday, May 5, starting in Shelton at 10:30 a.m., with the city of Shelton hosting the opening ceremonies. Riders will then travel through Derby, Seymour, Oxford, Monroe, Newtown, and Trumbull, ending at the Westfield mall. Trumbull residents should expect road closures on Route 111, Main Street, between 11:45 and 12:30, Garrity said. Areas of Westfield mall on the food court side of the parking lot will be closed off as well, for the closing celebration.

“They were gracious enough to offer their facility,” Garrity said of the mall. “We will have a band, vendors set up, and food.”

Garrity said the city of Shelton has also done a great job in working to organize the opening ceremonies.

All money raised will be paid out directly to Newtown charities, including the Sandy Hook Family Healing Fund, Newtown Police Union, Newtown EMS, the five Newtown fire departments, local children’s charities, the Center for Women & Families and Al’s Angels.

Riders are encouraged to pre-register the day before the event, Saturday, May 4, at Carl Anthony’s Restaurant, Clocktower Square, 477 Main Street, Monroe, or to register the day of the event from 8 a.m. to the start of the ride at the corner of Howe Avenue and Cornell Street in Shelton.

Garrity stressed that the ride is all about honoring the lives lost Dec. 14 and showing support for Newtown.

“The Green Ribbon Ride has no political purpose or agenda,” he said. “It’s simply a tribute ride to honor the 26 children and the teachers.”

For more information, visit or call Fred Garrity Jr. at 203-852-5046.