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Volunteer Spotlight: Public invited to participate in West Newbury parade

  • Participants from past West Newbury Summer Festival parades. (Courtesy photographs)

  • Participants from past West Newbury Summer Festival parades. (Courtesy photographs)

  • Participants from past West Newbury Summer Festival parades. (Courtesy photographs)

  • Participants from past West Newbury Summer Festival parades. (Courtesy photographs)

  • Participants from past West Newbury Summer Festival parades. (Courtesy photographs)

  • Participants from past West Newbury Summer Festival parades. (Courtesy photographs)



Valley News Correspondent
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

WEST NEWBURY, Vt. — Each year to celebrate the West Newbury Summer Festival, a parade marches through the length of the town — about a quarter-mile — before looping around and going through town in the other direction.

“There are more people in the parade than watching it, but this way they get to see the parade while being in it,” said Catherine Kidder, parade coordinator, in an email.

Although the parade is no doubt small, it’s a fun family and community event, Kidder said. This year, the parade theme is “All in a Day’s Work,” and community members from West Newbury and beyond are invited to participate when the parade kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 10:30 a.m.

“We’re a very small community, and it was sort of a joke to attempt a parade, but it’s caught on over the years,” Kidder said. “It’s home-grown and sweet and friendly.”

In addition to the parade, the festival includes the opening of the historic schoolhouse, vintage ad displays, and a barbecue at 219 Tyler Farm Road, West Newbury.

Each year, there are parade regulars: Marj Martin driving her antique tractor, Juliana’s Florals’ flowery float and kids with decorated bikes. There are also out-of-town participants, like the VFW Color Guard and the Topsham 4-H Pony Club. Anyone, from formal organizations to individuals, is welcome to march. That makes the parade especially fun for the youngest participants, Kidder said.

“Wouldn’t any kid want to be in a parade?” she said.

This year, Kidder is looking for volunteers, including one for a unique role.

“We need someone to wear a large bird costume for a bakery near Boston,” she said.

Other volunteers can help carry banners and organize entries.

Mostly, however, Kidder is just focused on getting more people to participate in the parade and have a great time.

“An audience is welcome, but marching is enough fun that having an audience is just gravy,” Kidder said.

Editor’s note: To register for the West Newbury Summer Festival Parade or to volunteer, email westnewburyhall@gmail.com or call 802-429-2632 by Aug. 5. More information on the parade and the summer festival is available at westnewburyhall.org.