Heat can’t keep crowds away from 70th annual Labor Day Parade in Milford

By TRAVIS R. MORIN
Union Leader Correspondent
September 03. 2018 9:40PM
The Color Guard of VFW Post 4368 in Milford leads the parade proceedings around the town’s historic Oval during Monday’s Labor Day parade. (TRAVIS R. MORIN/Union Leader Correspondent)

MILFORD — Hundreds of area residents packed the historic downtown Oval Monday, braving high humidity and a scorching midday sun to take in the town’s 70th annual Labor Day Parade.

Stepping off at 1 p.m. at Milford High School and trekking down Elm Street, around the Oval and ending at the Boys and Girls Club, the parade route covers much of the same ground as the initial parade in 1948.

With participation open to the public, Monday’s festivities featured appearances from a wide range of participants, including the town’s fire and police departments, the Bektash Shriners of New Hampshire and Gov. Chris Sununu, who shook hands with attendees as he jogged along the parade route.

Leading the charge was grand marshal Polly Cote, a sixth-generation Milford resident who has authored several books on the town’s history.

Margaret Whitman of Amherst, who says she hasn’t missed a Milford Labor Day Parade in more than 20 years, said Milford’s small-town charm makes it the perfect place to hold an event like this.

“Milford has such a folksy and neighborly atmosphere. Just take a look at all of the families getting together around the Oval just for a little hometown parade. On Labor Day, Milford might as well be Mayberry,” said Whitman, referring to the setting of the 1960’s sitcom The Andy Griffith Show.

Amherst’s Brian Boyer and his family set up camp chairs in a shady spot underneath a tree in the Oval to take in the sights.

“We said let’s go do something and get out of the house for a while and check out the parade,” Boyer said. “Right now we’re just talking about where we’re going to eat afterwards — there’s so many great restaurants around the Oval.”

Steve Miller of Merrimack also emphasized his love for the town, highlighting the patriotic nature of the parade.

“I love this parade and I really like this little town,” Miller said. “It’s a friendly, down-home type of atmosphere — it’s what America’s all about.”


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