On Saturday, July 29, at 10 am the parade line up for the annual Blueberry Festival Parade will begin in the former parking lot of Central Appliance for a step off at 11 am. The parade will last a little over an hour and traffic will be somewhat impaired or detoured during that time.
Leading the parade will be our own local Blueberry Parade Marshal Joe Arnold, and his Court of Blueberry Royalty, to be followed by an LHA reenactor color guard, of The Connecticut Valley Civil War Field Music, and reenactors of various centuries.
Next will come the various fire and rescue companies from surrounding towns, put right up front so that they can speed away to any emergency, should there be one. We always hope there will be no emergencies, but these men and women volunteers are ready to go if there is.
The remainder of the bands in order representing some 145 band members include the Keene American Legion Band, Hill’s Band Wagon, Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps, Quaboag Highlanders Pipes and Drums, and the Chester Fife and Drum Corps. One of last year’s favorite groups the Yalesville Fife and Drum Corps and Color Guard will be noticeably missing as they are performing that entire week for Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. They are planning to return next year.
Hopefully it will be a bright and sunny day with a good sized arts and craft festival in full swing at Layla’s, and with a food stand set up by the Dover Forge. This will be in the same area where the judges’ reviewing stand is to be located and from where parade participants will be announced. It is here that the West Dover Fire Department ladder truck will be located fully elevated and flying an extra large American Flag.
A little further up the road on the grounds of the Dover Forge will be the encampment of various time periods of history known as a “Time Line Event” hosted by the reenactors of the Living History Association.
All of these activities will be punctuated by many of the parade bands doing mini concerts all along the Valley Trail from the Dover Historical Society, who is also hosting their annual blueberry pie sale, to the Valley View Saloon, Layla’s, and the Dover Forge.
Other registered marchers, vehicles, and floats remain mostly unregistered and we really wish that all you participants out there would get a registration form from the Chamber of Commerce, fill it out, and send it in.
James A. Dassatti,
Blueberry Festival Parade Chairman