Published in the July 6, 2015 edition
WAKEFIELD — The town celebrated Independence Day 2015 the way it wants to Saturday, with morning contests and parades for children, the return of the afternoon parade, a rock concert and, last but certainly not least, a grand fireworks display over Lake Quannapowitt.
The parade — organized by the Wakefield Independence Day Committee — stepped off at 4:30 p.m. from Quannapowitt Parkway, heading south down North Avenue to Church Street, where the procession turned toward the Lower and Veterans Memorial commons. The procession then went south on Common Street to Main Street, traveling through the Square to the reviewing stand set up in front of the Americal Civic Center. The parade ended at the Galvin Middle School, named in honor of John Rogers Galvin, a four-star Army general from Wakefield.
This was a return to the route the parade has taken since the early 1990s. Prior to that, the procession snaked through narrow but extremely welcoming West Side neighborhoods before getting out onto the main streets to the reviewing stand at the Americal.
Before and after the parade, the West Side Social Club’s Fourth of July Committee sponsored a fishing contest, children’s parades, races, concerts and the fireworks.
Prizes and trophies were awarded at the end of each West Side Social Club event. The winners appear on Page 3 of today’s newspaper.
The fireworks began right on time at 9:30 p.m. and lasted close to a half hour. Streets were jammed with parked cars and people in the hours before and the minutes after the display.
The West Side Social Club manned a concession stand on the Common for a good portion of the day. Proceeds from concessions go toward paying for the various events put on by the club’s Fourth of July Committee.
In 2015, the West Side events were being put on in the memory of Past President Dan Curran, who passed away last November, and club member Fred Martin, who passed away in June 2013.
The theme for this year’s children’s events was “Gold Star Family — We Honor Your Fallen.”
After a two year absence, the Wakefield Independence Day Parade returned to cheering crowds impressed with its size and the quality of the performers.
The line of march was as follows: Wakefield Fire Department; other municipal fire departments; antique fire apparatus; Wakefield Department of Public Works
Board of Selectmen
Grand Marshal Bill Chetwynd
Wakefield Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Honor Guard
Kevin Barry Pipes and Drums
5th Massachusetts Regiment
West Side Social Club Float
Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps – Nashua, New Hampshire
Representatives Donald Wong and Paul Brodeur
Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps – Seymour, Connecticut
Wakefield Youth Lacrosse
Dick Bayrd Native American
Cadets Sr. Drum and Bugle Corps – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Military Vehicles and Antique Cars
Hawthorne Cabelleros Drum and Bugle Corps – Hawthorne, New Jersey
Collings Foundation Armored Military Vehicles
Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps – Mount Holly, New Jersey
Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps – Casper, Wyoming
New Liberty Jazz Band
Reading Community Band
Clowns of America
Tony Barrie Band – Saugus, Massachusetts
Prime Time Brass – New York
Baltimore City Police Marching Revels – Baltimore, Maryland
Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps – Fort Mills, South Carolina
Aleppo Shriners – Wilmington, Massachusetts
Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps – Allentown, Pennsylvania
Lake City High School Marching Band – Lake City, Minnesota
Spirit Of America Marching Band – Orleans, Massachusetts