West Hartford’s ‘Horseshoe Neighborhood’ residents were thrilled to celebrate the Fourth of July with their annual parade.
By Lily Guberman
Even the cloudy weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of those participating in the 43rd annual Fourth of July parade in West Hartford’s “Horseshoe neighborhood” Sunday morning.
Children and adults got out their most patriotic outfits to march through their neighborhood in celebration of Independence Day. The path of the parade began at the intersection of Linbrook Road and Montclair Drive, continued right on Linnard Road, followed another right onto the beginning of Montclair and then around the horseshoe shape of the same road until reaching the starting line.
Before the parade began, everyone lined up for the judges who would award prizes to those who won in various categories: Best Adult Costume, Best Child Costume (7 and under), Best Child Costume (7 to 18), Best Pet Costume, Best Scooter, Best Rollerblades/Skates, Best Bike (7 and under), Best Bike (over 7), Best Wagon, Best Stroller and Best Tricycle/Training Wheels.
The parade was followed by a block party including a visit from the West Hartford Fire Department, as well as an ice cream truck, rather than shared snacks since children cannot be vaccinated yet.
The Fourth of July Parade is a neighborhood tradition that began in 1978; one adult resident of the neighborhood said that she had known about the parade back when she attended King Philip Middle School. The consensus among parents was that the parade was something special for their kids, especially after the pandemic.
In the 43 years that the parade has gone on, last year was the only time when they couldn’t gather as a group, but that didn’t stop them from celebrating. Last summer, the parade was modified where neighbors decorated their bikes, wagons or scooters and had chalk drawings on their driveways.
To keep social distancing guidelines, everyone was invited to “stroll at their leisure,” said Maggie Casey, who was in charge of this year’s event. Even through a pandemic, the tradition went on, and the neighbors are sure that it will last for many more years.
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