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Newfound region celebrates the 4th

Approximately 30 patriotic entries took part in this year's July 4th boat parade on Newfound Lake last weekend. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
July 09, 2020
BRISTOL – The Newfound Region's Fourth of July activities were a bit low key this year, but plentiful.

The celebrations first got underway last Thursday evening with an outdoor concert, followed by the return of Cruise Night at Village Pizza on Friday evening, a small but patriotic parade on Saturday morning, a boat parade on the lake in the afternoon, and a beautiful fireworks display later that night.

As always, the Uncle Steve Band drew an appreciative crowd to Kelley Park for the start of the Thursday Night Summer Concert series where people were able to distance themselves appropriately while enjoying their classic mix of country and rock sounds.

"We come to all of these concerts and we're just so happy they're able to keep them going this year," said one seasonal resident from Hill.

Friday night then offered classic car fans a chance to stroll the lawn beside Village Pizza, where everyone could appreciate the vehicles taking part in this year's annual Cruise Night.

On Saturday, a small but patriotic motor parade headed out from Freudenberg NOK's parking lot at 10 a.m.. The vehicles drove up over Prospect St. and into the downtown square as cheers, horns and sirens made their presence known. While not the usual all-out affair the town is accustomed to, political candidates, patriotic groups and individuals all flew American flags from their vehicles while joined by inductees into the 2020 Newfound Regional High School Athletic Hall of Fame. NRHS inductees this year include Leslie Dion ('75, athletic manager and contributor), David Chourney ('95 athlete), James Gilbert ('98 athlete), Chris Cutter ('01 athlete) and the 1959-60 NRHS Girls Basketball team.

Later that afternoon approximately 30 boats held a parade of their own around the southern end of Newfound Lake. Decked out with lots of patriotic décor, one boat even held an on deck dance party to Katie Perry's hit song "Firework" as cheers rose up from the shoreline and beaches.

After enjoying the rest of the day swimming, boating, hiking and shopping in Bristol, residents and visitors then enjoyed a socially distanced but nonetheless spectacular fireworks display over the lake that evening.

Bristol Police Chief James McIntire said the Newfound Area was busy over the holiday weekend with typical summer traffic but things went very well from both a safety and entertainment standpoint

"The fireworks went without incident and the show was fantastic! All who attended seemed to enjoy themselves and I observed people practicing appropriate social distancing and wearing of masks if they felt inclined," he said.

While other planned summer events may have been canceled or are in questions at this time due to the Corona virus, the Thursday night Summer Concerts in the Park Series will still be held. This year's schedule (weather permitting) will be The BelAirs (July 9); Annie and the Orphans (July 16); The Blacklite Band (July 23); The Cole Robbie Band (July 30); Jackie Lee and the Cold Steel Ramblers (Aug. 6); Carroll Brown (Aug. 13); the Audrey Drake Trio (Aug. 20); and the Michael Vincent Band (Aug. 27) while concluding with a special Saturday night Beatles Tribute by Studio Two on Aug. 29.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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