The prize winning float by Tuftonboro's Spider Web Gardens passes in front of the camera during Wolfeboro's Independence Day Parade. (Photo by Elissa Paquette) (click for larger version)
July 12, 2019WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro celebrated its 100th Independence Day parade on another sunny July 4 — this time, for the first time, vehicle free in the heart of downtown. In a bold move, Police Chief Dean Rondeau requested approval from the Board of Selectmen to eliminate parking on Main Street for the duration of the parade. That was quickly chiseled down to a restriction on vehicles parking between Mill Street down by the Wolfeboro Inn and Glendon Street by the Town Hall.
Kathy Eaton, owner of Molly the Trolley, quickly stepped in to offer parade goers half price passage between the Kingswood Regional High School parking lot on South Main and Downtown. According to Eaton, a member of the Wolfeboro Ecomonic Development Committee, Molly shuttled 68 adults and 14 children, including Wolfeboro residents and visitors, some visiting for the first time.
Main Street seemed positively roomy at 9:30 a.m. with families tossing and kicking bright plastic beach balls back and forth, creating colored chalk drawings, and enjoying ice cream cones while perched along the stone wall in front of the Yum Yum Shop waiting for the parade to advance down North Main. Cub Scouts sold water to keep the crowds hydrated and raise funds for their activities and a pair of young entrepreneurs offered lemonade, the perennial summer thirst quencher.
By 10 a.m., though, the area filled in with people moving eagerly into place to see what Wolfeboro would offer this year as the long line of entries, 67 in all, advanced to the judges' viewing area in front of the Avery building. There were four divisions, including Novelty Entries.
We invite readers to peruse the photos of the parade in this week's edition to relive the spirit of the occasion.
The Wright Museum came away with the Grand Prize. and the Outdoor and More Store of Tamworth was the pick of Parade Marshall Harold Chamberlin.
The winners in Division 1, Business and Commercial, were: Goodhue and Hawkins Navy Yard, 1st place; The Outdoors and More Store, 2nd place, and No View Farm, 3rd place.
Winners first through third in Division 2, Clubs and Organizations, were Calvary of Wolfeboro, Kingswood Athletics, and the Woleboro Snowmobile Club.
Division 3 winners first through third, featured the Wooden Nickels Band, the Choma Family, and Michael Travis – Red Miata mini.
Division 4 participants, including the Wolfeboro Democrats and and the Winnipesaukee Republicans (Moultonboro, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro) may compete at the polls, but they do not compete for parade prizes.
Spider Web Gardens took first place in the Novelty Entry category, followed by Garwood's and Dockside, and the Winnipesaukee Winery.
Chief Dean Rondeau declared the parade parking restrictions an "overwhelming success" after he and his officers and commissioners received "hundreds of accolades". He says he was pleased that thousands of parade goers were able to view the parade in comfort and safety and called attention to the presence of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, trained according to FEMA standards, to supplement emergency responders.
Parade Marshall Harold Chamberlin, Commander of the American Legion, Harriman-Hale Post 18, gave credit to the Wolfeboro Police Department and the Lakes Region Repeater Ham Radio Club for what appears to be " the seemingly effortless running of this huge parade.... We all pay attention to the people in the parade as well as the good folks watching the parade. We all are trying to have a great and safe celebration."