MANCHESTER — Downtown was abuzz Saturday afternoon for Manchester-by-the-Sea’s 375th anniversary parade.
Seemingly the residents of every home along Pine, Pleasant, and Lincoln streets were hosting some sort of outdoor festivity with friends and family while the parade passed by.
Alex Kaufman enjoyed the parade with his wife, Emily, and 2-year-old son, Archie.
“I thought it had a much better selection of floats than usual,” he said. “They were much more diverse than something you’d see in the Fourth of July parade.”
Indeed, the 375th anniversary parade was a multicultural affair with representation from the Boston Nam Pai Lion Dance Team and the Veronica Robles Band, Boston’s first all-female mariachi group.
The Aleppo Shriners of Wilmington brought along a smorgasbord of parade units to the festivities. Members played music, rode miniature cars and trucks and dressed up as clowns to entertain the Manchester children.
As for local groups, Cape Ann Savings Bank brought its own steel drum band, Boy Scouts Troop 3 pitched a tent on the back of a tractor trailer, and members of the Longevity Bench Committee set up one of their signature benches atop of their float.
“We’re honored to be featured in the parade with our float,” said Lisa Bonneville of the Longevity Bench Committee. “The co-chairs helped set up the bench. It’s the one that was installed on Pine Street to celebrate the 375th anniversary. They took it out of its base and put it right on the float for everyone to see.”
The Longevity Bench float was named the “most ecological” at the end-of-ceremony awards at Coach Field Playground. Other winners included the Manchester Little League (“most athletic”) and the 375th Celebration Committee —its 20-foot birthday cake float won “most caloric.”
The parade, held to celebrate Manchester’s founding in 1645, was delayed a full year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parks and Recreation Director Cheryl Marshall believes the parade went off without a hitch.
“It was an amazing culmination from the anniversary events we held this summer,” she said. “(375th Celebration Committee co-chairs Tom Kehoe and Sue Thorne) were amazing leaders. We’ll be counting on them for the 400th anniversary.”
Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or email@example.com.