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Sun shines on Wolfeboro's Independence Day Parade

SELECTMAN MARGE WEBSTER presents Marine veteran Bob Johnson with a Proclamation from the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen saluting him on his 86th birthday as Parade Marshall Harold Chamberlin, a fellow Marine, stands by, and the Cate Park Band plays “Happy Birthday.” (Thomas Beeler photo) (click for larger version)
July 09, 2009
WOLFEBORO — Following weeks of rain, thunderstorms, sprinkles, showers and misting, the skies cleared last Saturday morning long enough for the Independence Day Parade to assemble and spend nearly an hour and half passing in review down Wolfeboro's Main Street.

In less than an hour afterward the rain resumed in a thundering downpour.

The parade mixed the serious with the silly, the patriotic with the preposterous, things that touch the heart and things that were just plain touched. The sight of Wolfeboro's Judy Breuninger as a patriotric drum majorette made coming out for the parade worthwhile all by itself.

Everyone had a good time, a few celebrities (Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon) joined the crowd, and no one got hurt. There were fewer politicians this year, but Wolfeboro's own State Senator Jeb Bradley marched and so did District I U.S. Representative Carol Shea-Porter, along with several state representatives.

The surprise of the parade came near the beginning, as the Parade Marshall's car drew in front of the Avery Building. The Cate Park Band, which was marching in front, stopped, turned around to face Honorary Marshall Bob Johnson and played "Happy Birthday." Johnson, a WWII Marine veteran, was born on the fourth of July. Selectman Marge Webster presented Johnson with a proclamation from the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen congratulating him on being named Honorary Marshall and saluting him on his 86th birthday. Everyone applauded and the parade resumed.

Please see pages A14 through A17 for a selection of images from the parade.

On Monday, July 6, American Legion Post Commander and Parade Marshal Harold Chamberlin announced the winners in this year's parade:

The Grand Prize winner was the "Moving Wall" replica float entered by the Wolfeboro Moving Wall Committee.

In the First Division (Business and Commercial), First Place went to Expressions Dance Studio, which featured young dancers executing dances all along the parade route. Second Place went to Pottie Patrol and Third Place went to Dog Wash Waggin, which featured a red, white and blue standard poodle.

In the Second Division (Clubs and Organizations), First Place went to Kingswood Cal Ripken Baseball Major League Champs, which featured the team members on a float in full uniforms celebrating their victory. Second Place to ACTS Service Dogs and Third Place went to Wolfeboro Area Children's Center, which had a pickup truck with children ringing bells and a float.

In the Third Division (Private and All Others), First Place went to the Professional Fire Fighters Band, which consisted of bagpipers and drummers. Second Place went to the Harwood Family and Third Place went to Paul Zimmerman dressed as Uncle Sam on a patriotic Segway.

In the Novelty Entries category, First Place went to Brewster Academy's Elvis on Bicycles: not one but (count 'em) five Elvis impersonators on bicycles. Second Place went to the Wolfeboro Offshore Ad-Lib Precision Lawn Chair Team and Third Place went to 60s Chicks from Wolfeboro (Jane Hunter, chair).

The judges this year were Marge Webster (chair), Judy LaBranch and Ken Kuipers.

The Commander's Trophy, chosen by Chamberlin, went to the Wright Museum, which entered a selection of its vintage WWII vehicles (none of which broke down this year) and a float with a Jimmy Durante impersonator accompanied by dancing WACs.

Varney Smith
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