It's the official start of summer, and there's no shortage of activities over the coming week, starting off with Fourth of July parades on Thursday.
Chatham's parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Main Street and Shore Road, and proceeds down Main Street to Crowell Road, ending at Tip Cart Road. More than 90 floats, groups and vehicles both antique and modern are scheduled to participate, with more music than ever before, according to parade organizers. Judges stationed on the Methodist Church lawn at the corner of Main and Cross streets will choose the best entries in a number of categories; watch for a list of winners in next week's paper. This year's parade theme is “Chatham Honors You, Service Members Past, Present and Future.” Several residents and businesses are erecting bleachers at 403 Main St. and inviting veterans to view the parade from there.
Parking restrictions will be in place beginning at 2:30 a.m. on July 4. There will also be an area in front of the community center reserved for disabled viewers. Check out our website for more parade details, and watch for last-minute information on our Twitter and Facebook pages. If you can't make the parade, Channel 18 will be live streaming it at www.youtube.com/user/chathamchannel18/live.
For eats before the parade, don't forget the annual Kiwanis/Rotary Club pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. at Chatham Elementary School, and there will also be a coffee and refreshment stand on the lawn of the First Congregational Church from 8 a.m. until the parade ends. Immediately after the parade, satisfy your sweet tooth with the annual Strawberry Festival at the Methodist Church at 11 a.m.
The theme of the Orleans July 4 parade is “Orleans Rocks!” The rockin' gets underway at 10 a.m. Thursday morning, beginning at Eldredge Parkway and Route 6a, to Main Street and Route 28 and back to the start. Awards will be given to the top business, non-profit and family floats.
Fireworks are scheduled at Rock Harbor on Saturday, July 6, beginning between 8:30 and 9:15 p.m. Visit orleans4thofjuly.com for details on parking and the best places to view the show.
There's much more to do over the long holiday weekend. On Wednesday evening, the Port Summer Nights begins in Harwich Port at 6 p.m. and the TD Bank Summer Concert Series opens at Kate Gould Park at 6 p.m. And the Chatham Band performs their second concert of the season on Friday at 8 p.m., also in Kate Gould Park.
There's also Cape Cod Baseball League action all weekend long, beginning on Thursday with Harwich at home against Brewster and Orleans and Chatham going head-to-head at Eldredge Park in Orleans. On Friday Chatham is at Falmouth, Orleans is at Wareham, and Harwich is at Bourne. Saturday's games find Harwich hosting Wareham, Orleans hosting Y-D, and Chatham at Cotuit. Sunday Brewster is at Chatham for a double-header, while D-Y hosts Orleans and Falmouth hosts Harwich.