Fun-filled Fourth ends with impressive fireworks display

WAKEFIELD — Yesterday the town shook off two years of gloom living under the cloud of a pandemic with a mighty, joyous celebration of America’s 246th birthday.

This weather-perfect Fourth of July was worth the wait. From the morning judged contests for kids to the late afternoon parade to the awesome nighttime pyrotechnics display over Lake Quannapowitt, it was a day filled with fun and entertainment, thanks in large part to the West Side Social Club’s 4th of July Committee and the Wakefield Independence Day Committee.

The day began like it does each year with the West Side-sponsored Fishing Derby at the Lower Common. The kids’ parades were next — the carts and bikes and carriages were decorated for this year’s theme of USA’s Famous Monuments and Landmarks — followed by running races. The canoe-kayak races across the Lake was the final portion of the early day activities, which were followed by a break until the Independence Day Committee’s parade stepped off at 5 p.m. from Quannapowitt Parkway. With sirens blaring and lights flashing, the parade was led by the town’s police and firefighters, followed in short (and no particular order) by the 215th Army Band, Lt. Colonel Gerald Scott, Middlesex County Volunteers Fife and Drum, Colonel Bailey’s 2nd Massachusetts Regiment, William Diamond Junior Fife & Drums Corps, 74th Highland Regiment, 4th King’s Own Regiment of Foot, Old Redding Battery.

Boston Irish Pipes and Drums, Veterans on Salem Trolley, HKS Clydesdales Horses beer wagon with veterans, Waltham American Legion Trolley Band, Jared Fonzi golf cart, MA National Lancers Military Mounted, WAAV Float, Hot Tamale Brass Band, New England Patriot’s Cheerleaders and Pat the Patriot, New England Revolution Slyde, Clowns, Kickin Brass Band, Nimble Arts, Hung Gar Kung Fu – Lion Dance Academy, Woodville School PTO.

Polish American String Band, Chris Doughty for Governor, Friends of Richard Bayrd float, Reading Community Band, Golden Rule Lodge, State Representative Donald Wong, Cub Scout Pack 722, Extraordinary Artists, New Liberty Jazz Band, 501st New England Garrison, Jurassic Park vehicles, Making Magic Character Performers , Blues Brothers the Next Generation, Superhero characters.

Ever After Story Book Entertainment, Tony Barrie Band, Boston Area Guild of Puppetry , Antique Cars, Mariachi Emperadores, Mario Players, Captain Jack and the Rogues Armada, Total Entertainment, Trend N Motion Hip Hop Dancers, Broco Oil Truck, Wakefield Little league Baseball- Minor League Champion, Italian American Band, Wakefield Little League Baseball – Major League Champion, Shannon Liss-Riordan for Attorney General.

Boston Windjammers, TJM Plumbing & Heating truck, Petite USA Massachusetts State Queens, Wienermobile, Merrimack Valley Concert Band, American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of Wakefield and Stoneham, New Magnolia Jazz Band, Jugglers, Big Nazo Puppet Creature Crew, Bridal Carriage Co., Inc., Hit Men Brass, State Senator Jason Lewis, Boy Scout Troop 19 from Middleton, Military vehicles, Branches Pan Groove Steelband, Leah Cole Allen for Lt. Governor, Sick Props float, Funky Karnaval, Wakefield Track and Field/Cross Country, Lincoln Jr/ Sr High School, Kim Driscoll for Lt. Governor, MVP Jeeps, Connecticut Hurricanes, Aleppo Shriners and Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

After the parade, the West Side’s 4th of July Committee was back with an evening program on the Lower Common dedicated to the late Richard O. Bayrd, a lifelong Wakefield resident and member of Narragansett Nation who annually took part in the town’s Independence Day celebration.

The Buckley Brothers Band put on quite a show at the Bandstand, followed by Dan Clark, the Singing State Trooper, who sang patriotic songs before American Thunder Fireworks ramped up the grand finale with a tremendous half hour-plus display over Lake Quannpowitt.

The crowd went home impressed and happy that we were finally able to celebrate our nation’s birthday the way it was intended to be.