CHATHAM – More than 100 floats, bands and groups of marchers are expected to fill Main Street during the town's Independence Day parade next Wednesday.
The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. on July 4 at the corner of Main Street and Shore Road and concludes at Tip Cart Drive. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the parade route to cheer on entries based on this year's parade theme, “Hooked On Chatham.”
“We're really looking forward to seeing what people will come up with,” said Justin Bohannon, chairman of the town's Independence Day parade committee.
The committee is asking spectators and parade participants who post photos of the event on social media to use the hashtag #hookedonchatham. “We thought that would be a really great way to get photos out to a wider audience,” he said.
The list of parade participants reveals many familiar marchers, including the Yarmouth Minutemen, Phillips Farm Family, Chatham A's, Monomoy Theatre, First Night Chatham and the Chatham Squire. Bands slated to march include the Dennis-Yarmouth High School Marching Band, the All Worn Out Jug Band, Canon Hill, the Chandler Travis Philharmonic Trombone Shout Band, Cape Cod Fiddlers, Highland Light Scottish Pipe Band, and the Chris Fitz Band. Watch for many other local businesses and organizations to wind their way along the parade route.
This year's parade Grand Marshal is Henry C. Hyora, publisher of The Cape Cod Chronicle. Parade judges are Danielle Jeanloz, director of the Atwood House and Museum; former parade committee chairman Brad Schiff; and Monomoy Regional High School Valedictorian Francesca Barr.
Awards will be given out in several categories, with the first place entry recognized by having its name engraved on the Overall Best in Parade trophy displayed at the town offices. Second and third place awards will also be given out, along with the best in the following categories: Most Patriotic; Funniest; Best Small Float; Best Large Float; Best Family Float; Best Civic Organization/Nonprofit; and Best Youth (participants under 18 years old).
Awards will be presented at the board of selectmen's July 16 meeting.
Parade participants can pre-register and pick up their position number flags at the police department on George Ryder Road on June 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; June 29 from 2 to 7 p.m.; and June 30 from 9 to 11 a.m. Bohannon said pre-registration “alleviates a lot of confusion” on the morning of the parade, allowing those with their flags to go right to their position on Shore Road. Those who do not pre-register must check in at the fish pier to get their position number beginning at 7 a.m. There will be a shuttle bus to take parade participants from the parking lot at Monomoy Regional Middle School on Crowell Road to Shore Road in the morning and to return them to the school.
This year there will be a special designated wheelchair only viewing area marked off on the front lawn of the community center. Wheelchair-bound spectators who wish to view the parade from this location are advised to park in the lot to the rear of the community center.
There is no rain date for the parade.
Bohannon's committee is all new this year, having taken over from a veteran group that left the newbies with “very organized plans” for the event, he said.
“It's actually gone pretty well,” he commented.
Traffic, Parking Restrictions
Parking restrictions will go into effect around the Main Street business district beginning at 2:30 a.m. July 4, according to the Chatham Police Department. No parking will be allowed on the south, or town offices side of Main Street. There will also be no parking allowed on Crowell Road south of Tip Cart Drive to Main Street. Cars parked in no parking areas are subject to towing.
No chairs are allowed along the parade route until after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Traffic on Shore Road from Old Harbor Road to Main Street will be one-way southbound beginning at 8 a.m. The downtown business district will be closed to all motor vehicle traffic at 8:30 a.m. The intersection of Main Street and Crowell Road will close to vehicles at 9 a.m. All inbound traffic will be detoured onto Old Queen Anne and Queen Anne Road.
There will be no parking signs, traffic cones and barricades in various locations along the parade route and in nearby neighborhoods. Police will be posted to assist motorists.
Police advise motorists not to use GPS systems while leaving town after the parade. GPS systems will direct most of the traffic to one route out of town, causing unnecessary traffic delays. Motorists and spectators should follow the directions of detail officers who will direct them to several alternative routes out of town.