SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. – The Fourth of July Parade in Saxtons River was well attended despite the sweltering heat. The annual 5K had 106 runners, ranging from ages 6 to 76. The winner of the race was resident Jamie Moore, and the first woman across the finish line was Caroline Shannon of Cambridge, Mass.
This year’s parade was sponsored by the Savings Bank of Walpole and the Village Square Booksellers. The Grand Marshall was Margo and Mike Ghia. Margo was the former director of Main Street Arts and Mike is on the Rockingham Conservation Commission.
The Bellows Falls American Legion Post 37 led the parade, closely followed by the Hills Band Wagon and BF Community Bike Project. The Morris Dancers from Brattleboro wore wooden-soled ironshod clogs and danced clad in costume while swirling lings, which are tubes of cotton wool as they have for the last 20 years in this parade. Other floats featured Kurn Hattin summer camp; Main Street Arts horse made of driftwood to introduce their next show “Equus;” High Meadow Farm of Westminster West, handing out basil plants; Lawrence Farm with a 1946 Farmall; Long View Forest of Westminster; and the Furgat family’s tractor pull float, which was dedicated in memory of Linda Furgat. Fire trucks from Saxtons River, Westminster, Rockingham, Bellows Falls, and North Walpole brought up the rear with sirens.
Brad Robinson sang “God Bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner” to begin the post parade celebration. Float prizes were awarded to Springfield’s Cub Scout Pack 258 for Best Children’s Float. Most Humorous went to Pleasant Valley Hockey, and the MSA String Band won Best Musical. The Best Overall float award went to newcomers Friends for Change with their trauma llama.
The highly anticipated Firefighters Water Polo commenced, and musical acts took the stage while folks from all over New England enjoyed food and activities from area farms, businesses, schools, and nonprofits. Holly from Rockingham won the pie contest with her key lime blueberry.
Congratulations to Leroy and Heidi who got engaged with a surprise proposal at the bandstand.
Festivities continued at the Recreation Center with a barbecue and live music. Bayou X headlined, featuring New Orleans native Pete and Linda Simoneau who recently played at Roots on the River festival in June. The festivities ended with a spectacular fireworks display.