With July 4 landing on a Wednesday, this week promises to be busy on both ends. If you've arrived for the summer or are just visiting, there's plenty to do over the next several days.
Beginning, of course, with Independence Day parades in both Chatham and Orleans. Chatham's parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. while Orleans starts at 10 a.m. (see below for Orleans event details).
More than 100 entries are expected in the Chatham parade, which starts at the corner of Main Street and Shore Road and winds its way down Main Street before hooking a right on Crowell Road and ending at Tip Cart Drive. This year's theme is “Hooked on Chatham.”
Look for many family marchers in the parade, including the Highland Light Scottish Pipe Band, the Yarmouth Minutemen, Phillips Farm Family, Monomoy Theatre, the Chatham A's, First Night, the Chatham Squire, Captain Santa and the Monomoy Yacht Club. The parade will be led by local veterans, police and fire vehicles, the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary, selectmen, the Chatham Band and this year's parade Grand Marshal is Henry C. “Hank” Hyora, publisher of The Cape Cod Chronicle. Brooke Linnell will sing the National Anthem when the beginning of the parade reaches the judge's stand at the corner of Main and Cross streets.
Parade organizers are asking folks who post photos of the event on social media to use the hashtag #hookedonchatham.
Awards in several categories will be announced at the July 16 board of selectmen's meeting.
If you want to secure your viewing spot along the parade route, you have to wait until after 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. No chairs will be allowed on Main Street until then. Parking restrictions will go into effect then as well. There's no parking allowed on the south side of Main Street as well as on Crowell Road south of Tip Cart. Visit our website at www.capecodchronicle.com to view the Chatham Police Department's July 4 traffic and parking instructions. There's also info on parking and rest room locations, as well as updated listings of parade entrants, on the parade committee website, www.chathamparade.com.
There's more than just the parade happening Wednesday. The annual Pancake Festival returns on July 4. Run jointly by the Rotary Club of Chatham and the Kiwanis Club of Central Cape Cod, it's being billed at the 1st/51st Pancake Festival. The Kiwanis Club ran the event for 50 years through 2014, and the Rotary is taking it up again this year to fill the Independence Day breakfast void.
The festival takes place at the Chatham Elementary School on Depot Road from 7 to 11 a.m. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children under 11; kids under 5 eat free.
Other July 4 activities include the First Congregational Church refreshment stand, which opens at 8 a.m.; the annual Strawberry Festival beginning at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church; and the Chatham Angler's take on the Orleans Firebirds at Veterans Field at 7 p.m. Cap your week on Friday with a lobster roll supper at the Methodist Church and the Chatham Band concert at 8 p.m. in Kate Gould Park.
Orleans July 4 Parade
The forecast for Wednesday, July 4, is “partly cloudy,” but the outlook for the town's Fourth of July Parade is nothing but sunny.
More than 70 contingents are ready to march along Eldredge Park Way to Main Street and down Route 28 back to the park starting at 10 a.m. Watch for the police and fire color guards, the veterans groups, town dignitaries, bands, antique cars, businesses, non-profits and family groups, all celebrating the theme Independence Day The Orleans Way! One Big Family.
You can sit on a curb or bring your own chair to the parade route to watch the colorful procession. Meanwhile, a hardworking panel of judges – Greg and Diane DeLory, Gail Briere, Glenda Downs, and Ingrid Moyer – will be deciding who gets first, second and third place honors in the business, non-profit, and family categories.
The first-place business entry winner receives the Town of Orleans Fritz Haubner Memorial Cup, named for the dedicated business leader and parade chairman. The Town of Orleans Bob Ward Memorial Award, which honors his creative participation starting with the very first town-sanctioned Fourth of July Celebration Committee, goes to the top finisher among non-profits.
The forecast looked fine for the July 1 fireworks show over Rock Harbor, but just in case, the rain date is July 5.
To help support the parade, send a donation to Town of Orleans Fourth of July Gift Fund, Town Hall, Orleans MA. If you'd like to help illuminate the sky, send a check toward the fireworks to The Friends of the Fourth of July, PO Box 242, East Orleans MA 02643.
Harwich Port Summer Nights
For music lovers, the popular Port Summer Nights music stroll begins its summer season the evening of July 4. Running from 6 to 9 p.m. along Route 28 in the center of the village, the theme of this first stroll is “Thank a Local Hero.” Bands include Act 4 at Doane Park; Night Train at TD Bank; Brian Sances at The Port; Just Like That at the Village Center Shops; and Earth Junior across from Cross Street between Cape Cod Associates Real Estate and George's Pizza.
Port Summer Nights is sponsored by the Harwich Chamber of Commerce and presented by the Cape Cod Five. Wednesday night strolls, each with a different theme and different bands, run weekly through Aug. 29.