THOMASTON — The 54th annual Thomaston Children’s Parade took place along Old Northfield Road for the 243rd celebration of the Fourth of July. Escorted by Thomaston Police Department vehicles and fire department trucks, droves of children and their parents marched along the historic parade route that has become a town tradition for more than a half-century, in fond memory of the late Mary Reynolds.
Founded in 1965 by Old Northfield Road resident Mary Reynolds, the parade was cancelled only twice due to inclement weather throughout its 54-year lineage, as shared by parade committee member Elizabeth Fontaine.
Ms. Reynolds organized the annual parade “because she wanted the children to have an experience to march in a parade,” Ms. Fontaine told the Town Times.
Emphasizing that the Children’s Parade is truly for children, Ms. Fontaine recalled having a conversation with Ms. Reynolds before she passed a few years ago, advising her to “keep it apolitical and not commercial.”
Decking wagons and bicycles in patriotic colors, the children of Thomaston pedaled along the pavement.
During the festivities, Thomaston First Selectman Edmond V. Mone walked in the parade, waving to parade watchers.
Parade Marshals Molly and Ella Crossley, and Kendall Montana led the parade while carrying the Thomaston Children’s Parade banner, marching to the drum beat of resident Steve Scougall.
Filling the roadway, a color guard consisting of the Thomaston police and fire departments guided marchers along the path until they reached Ms. Fontaine’s residence, 998 Old Northfield Rd., for a brief ceremony.
Once parade goers transitioned from the route to Ms. Fontaine’s backyard, parade goers sang “The Pledge of Allegiance” and wished America a happy birthday singing “Happy Birthday.”
Chief of Police Jeffrey Madden, First Selectman Mone and state Rep John E. Piscopo, R-76, were present at the closing ceremony, and the parade committee noted their appreciation for participating in the iconic parade.
With a sizable crowd of hundreds in attendance for this year’s Children’s Parade, Ms. Fontaine reflects upon its influence within the community.
“What was once a neighborhood parade became a town parade, and generations have come back,” Ms. Fontaine concluded.