Former Health Agent To Serve As Grand Marshal In Annual Parade
ORLEANS – At 6:30 a.m. Monday, you can find members of the Fourth of July Committee getting ready for the biggest event of the summer.
Later that morning, floats will stage at Nauset Regional Middle School. At Lower Cape Dental, there will be antique cars. Police, fire, military and other parade participants, meanwhile, will gather at Orleans Elementary School.
The town’s annual Fourth of July parade typically lasts about an hour each year, but it takes nearly a year’s worth of planning to pull off. Just ask Jenn Allard, who enters her third year as chair of the parade committee.
“We meet after the parade in July to do a debrief and talk about what worked, what didn’t work and what changes we need to make for the future,” she said. “We take August off, then in September we really start outlining the parade, confirming bands and other forms of entertainment.”
But all the work volunteers put into coordinating the parade pays off every July 4, as residents and visitors gather downtown to watch floats, cars, bands, and local groups and organizations assemble in celebration of America’s birthday. And while a year’s worth of planning sounds intense, Allard says the time to prepare is welcomed, especially after 2021’s parade, which was coordinated at the last minute in a matter of weeks.
“This year has been great,” she said. “It was so nice to get back to our schedule.”
This year’s parade will step off from Eldredge Park Way at 10 a.m. The route will take the parade down Eldredge Park Way before turning right onto Route 6A, right onto Main Street to the intersection with Route 28, and right through the Tonset Road intersection and right again onto Daley’s Terrace. The route then loops around onto Marstons Way and across Eldredge Park Way, culminating at the Nauset Regional Middle School parking lot. There, specially handmade trophies crafted by local artisan James Caiazzi will be presented to first place winners in the parade.
The parade’s theme this year is “Orleans Super Heroes Past & Present.”
“What makes the parade fun is seeing how people interpret the theme,” Allard said. “We started talking about superheroes, but then we started thinking about the pandemic and coming out of it who the superheroes have been. It’s first responders, healthcare professionals. Those frontline people have been our superheroes.”
Past Orleans heroes will also be celebrated, including Bob Canning, who retired as the town’s first health agent in October.
“He really led the town through a lot, as many health agents did during COVID,” Allard said of Canning. “With him retiring, we wanted to make him grand marshal.”
A few days prior to the parade on July 1, the Friends of the Fourth of July will host the town’s annual fireworks display at dusk from Rock Harbor. The nonprofit group raises all money independently for the fireworks.
“They are a very small but mighty committee,” Allard said of the friends, who put on the fireworks in partnership with the town. We work in conjunction with them. Anything they need, we support them, and they support us.” Parking will be available in public lots, and many businesses also will allow parking for the parade. Information about traffic detours, as well as any updates regarding weather, can be found on the parade’s website at www.orleans4thofjuly.com.
“I love a parade, any parade,” Allard said. “But honestly, Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. It celebrates our country, our town. I’ve never seen as much camaraderie as I have on July 4. I just love to see people so happy, coming together and celebrating America, independence, Orleans, everything.”