Sun shines on (most) July 4 celebrations


July 08, 2009
LAKES REGION — When the persistent rainfall finally broke, the Lakes Region celebrated in style for the nation's birthday on July 4 with an assortment parades, barbecues, and fireworks.

Kathy Gary, organizer of the Moultonboro July 4 Parade for the past 10 years, with husband Bruce, said the cloudy morning made her a bit nervous that day. With many parade floats and costumes designed from paper, rain could have put a damper on the day.

"This is really a hometown parade," said Gary. "Usually, the weather determines things. This morning, it got cloudy, and I got nervous. People kept calling and checking."

The Almost Famous Precision Swim Noodle Drill Team marched in the parade, a traditional part of the festivities, and won first place in the Formation Group category. The team, composed of members of the Teen Adventures, Recking Crew, administration, and Happy Campers staff, gave a nod to the recent bad weather in their songs.

"I don't know, but I've been told – All this rain is getting old!" they sang, twirling their swim noodles as one.

"A lot of people look for us each year," said Recreational Director Donna Kuethe, as the team drilled in the school parking lot. "The kids will march with us in the front – we've got 250 kids in the programs, and probably 12 will march."

The Moultonboro parade, with the theme "Honoring Those Who Serve," with an emphasis on veterans of WWII, found expression in different ways. Local WWII vets, driven in classic cars, served as the parade's grand marshals. The Moultonboro Public Library float listed the names on its sides of all the Moultonboro residents in service. When the morning of the parade came and the float's sides had run out of room, parents of kids on the float used lipstick to write the last few names on placards that the kids could hold up.

Ten-year-old Matthew Fullerton completed his own personal float and tribute to the WWII vets – outfitting his bicycle with a wooden and paper frame to make it a WWII bomber.

"I figured I'd make an airplane to resemble it," said Fullerton. "It's kind of difficult to get on and off."

Though the weather tried to rain on Center Harbor's July 4 Parade, people on floats just donned raincoats or opened umbrellas, waving to people in similar raingear, and throwing candy.

The weather had been a little kinder to Center Harbor that morning, holding onto balmy temperatures and sunshine for the Fun Run and Footrace. Hundreds of parents, friends, and siblings cheered on younger children as they dashed around the field on a Fun Run. For adults, the two and five-mile annual footrace through town.

"I'm walking in the five-mile race," said Barbara Lammert. "I'll be walking in the Breast Cancer walk-a-thons in October, and I'm using this as a training walk."

The weather held later that day, allowing Meredith to complete its Rotary Club Rubber Duckie Race, before a thunderstorm scattered many waiting to hear the race results. The weather cleared up in time for concerts and fireworks later that night in Center Harbor and Meredith.

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