Milford Labor Day Parade draws a crowd
MILFORD — As hundreds of spectators lined the streets of Milford for the annual Labor Day Parade, the hot weather made it feel more like the middle of summer, than the first day of September.
The 90-plus minute parade was full of creative floats, great marching bands, the Shriners clowns driving their little cars, town organizations as well as just about every politician running for office and their supporters. The annual parade is a draw for politicians as it is the largest Labor Day parade in the state and the timing is right to get out and greet voters, with the primary next Tuesday.
The theme of the parade was “The Year of the American Farmer” which was evident with the rural farmland floats passing by. Tractors pulling farm animals such as adorable goats and farmers with their harvests were abundant. The Girl Scout float titled “Growing Farmers of the Future” took home a blue ribbon.
The 2014 Grand Marshals were local farmers Dave Fitch and Steve Trombly riding in a hay wagon pulled by an antique tractor.
Over 10 fire engines, new and antique with sirens blasting, led the parade followed by the Milford VFW Color Guard.
As always, the governor marches at the head of the parade. Gov. Maggie Hassan shook hands with young and old and talked as much as she could to the people she met. One young girl was surprised Gov. Hassan remembered her on a school field trip. “She’s nice,” said Bree Maurice, 9, from Milford who met the governor recently.
Besides bands and floats, the parade had unique treats such as characters from Star Wars and R2-D2 rolling down the street. Cheerleaders and karate kids provided a demonstration of their talents. The U.S. Navy Sea Cadets marched as well as the Scots Highland Pipes and Drums and the cast of the upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Amato Center rode on a float.
The oval was packed as announcers provided information on each marching unit from the gazebo.
School organizations were raising money for their teams. The football team sold raffle tickets while the wrestling team sold baked goods and water balloons, which could then be thrown at team members for a dollar.
Milford resident Karl Zahn and his 8-year-old daughter Marlena, enjoyed trying to break their water balloons on a wrestler. “I passed up a brownie to buy a water balloon,” laughed Zahn.
“Growing up, the Labor Day parade used to be an all afternoon event. We had some of the best bands around and the parade was a really big deal,” said Zahn. He added, “It’s still fun and an end of summer tradition.”
Glenna Daniels has been a Milford resident since 1962. “I thought the parade was real nice. I liked the music and floats and all the people it generated,” said Daniels. Her son Gary was in the parade and is the chairman for the Board of Selectmen.
The Kaley Foundation and the Keyes Foundation each donated $2,500 and the town contributed $10,000 for the parade.