FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Thousands of motorcyclists will hit the streets and travel throughout Fairfield County on Sunday in honor of the victims of Sept. 11 as part of the 14th annual CT United Ride .
The event is the largest 9/11 tribute in the state, and was started in 2001 by Frederick Garrity Jr. and the Fairfield County Labor Council in response to the terror attacks on the United States.
The first ride attracted 500 motorcyclists and raised money for three 9/11 victim relief funds. Since then, the event has grown, with 2,300 motorcyclists taking part last year.
“For those that lost their lives, for those that gave their lives, and for those that continue to put their lives on the line every day to protect us as a result of 9/11 -- that’s why we ride,” Garrity said.
The money raised this year will benefit family emergency relief funds for Connecticut police officers, Connecticut firefighters and two local United Ways. The event is hosted by the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut.
The event will begin in Norwalk with a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Norden Park, which is off I-95. The ride will begin at 11:30 a.m.
Here is the route of Sunday's event:
- Motorcade leaves from Norwalk's Norden Park to Route 136
- to Route 33 through Westport
- to Wilton to Route 7
- to Route 107 in Georgetown
- to Route 58 north in Redding
- to Route 302 in Bethel
- to Newtown on Route 25 through Monroe
- to Main Street in Trumbull
- to Old Town Road
- to Park Avenue in Fairfield
- continuing into Bridgeport and straight down to Seaside Park with Bridgeport's Fire Rescue 5 leading the motorcade.
Following the motorcade there will be an afternoon of food and musical performances in Seaside Park in Bridgeport.
In each town, local fire stations will bring out ladder trucks and hang American flags over the roadway as motorcyclists travel through.
Westport police are warning residents that the motorcade will cause traffic delays, and that motorists should avoid the route if possible. Police will escort the motorcade as it travels through town.
In Redding, residents are warned about possible heavy delays between noon and 1 p.m. Sunday as the ride enters Redding on Route 107 in Georgetown. and continues on Route 53 and Route 58.
Riders can still register to take part in the motorcade. Registration will be open at Captain's Cove in Bridgeport from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Riders can also register on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The cost of registration is $25 for riders and $25 for passengers. Food and drink will be free for the first 2,000 registered riders, and the first 1,000 registered riders will receive a free American flag bandana.