story & photos
by Chris Annino
Paying homage to local heroes was the theme of the 30th Annual Groton Fourth of July Parade. The parade started at Suttun Park and ended at Chelsea Groton Bank. Hosts of the event for the first time were Q-105’s radio talents Jackie Steele and Nancy Hall. “On behalf of Q-105 were are excited, and take great pride in hosting this event which has become a tradition in Southeastern CT’s culture” said Jackie. Ben Morse of the Groton Parks and Recreation Department served as a parade organizer for the first time. The Grand Marshall of the parade was retired Town of Groton Police Lieutenant William “Bill” Jervis.
Each of the parade’s floats and marching bands were unique. The local fire departments, scout troupes, military unites and other public departments contributed their time and energy to pay respect to local heroes. The New London chapter of The Society for Creative Anachronism, and Flock Theater provided puppetry and swordplay.
Chelsea Groton Bank, Wayne’s Barber Shop, and other local businesses helped provide free food for the festivities. Political hero Senator Andrew Maynard made a stylish appearance while cruising in a 1964 Convertible Cadillac. Newly Crowned Miss Teen Connecticut Rachael Ramonas and Miss Connecticut Ashley Glenn also made a much-anticipated appearance.
Local drama legends Dave Conaway, Ron McGory and Christine Gunther were the judges for the parade’s floats.
Navy Veteran and Preston resident Don Moose best summed up the event when he said, “Our ancestors fought and died so that we could live free without fear. This is a wonderful way to celebrate what they gave us.”