Local parades mark Independence Day

By Peter Currier and Amy Porter

Staff writers

One of the most colorfully decorated all-terrain vehicles in a past Wyben parade. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS PHOTO)

WESTFIELD/SOUTHWICK – Although there will not be fireworks here this Fourth of July, there are events for those who wish to celebrate Independence Day with the community.

In Southwick July 3, Citizens Restoring Congamond (CRC) is hosting its annual boat parade on Middle Pond. People can begin gathering and docking at Babb’s Beach at 4 p.m. where Gerry Moss Blues Band will perform. A short ceremony is slated for 5 p.m. with Kristina Perez singing the National Anthem and Steve Ferrari playing the bugle.

Boaters will parade counter-clockwise on the pond. Participants are encouraged to decorate their vessels for the event.

CRC President Michelle Pratt said that CRC would not be hosting any fireworks.

“But I’m certain there will be private displays all around the lakes as usual,” said Pratt.

In Westfield’s Wyben neighborhood, the 70th Fourth of July Parade will step-off at 5 p.m. July 4 from the intersection of Montgomery and North roads.

This year’s theme is “Essential Workers” and parade marshals are Bob and Pat Allen. “Much gratitude and affection for the couple’s tireless and embracing attitude as the Wyben Parade has been a huge success for over 20 years under their direction,” Crane said.

The Allens have called Wyben home since the 1980’s when they moved to the 1700’s Allen Family Homestead. Bob Allen retired as a Hartford police officer and Pat Allen worked in drafting and landscape design.

Since retiring, the Allens have been active in the Wyben community, at Wyben Church, where Pat is a trustee and member of Joyful Voices, a group that visits and sings to people who are homebound; and in helping out and supporting church and community members in every way possible. The Allens have been married for 56 years.

“Let us all celebrate Pat and Bob for their goodwill, kindness and all of their ongoing efforts to help make life better and a little easier for all,” Crane said.

Anyone wishing to participate should lineup beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The parade route is along Montgomery Road from North Road to West Road.

A Westfield police department cruiser will lead the parade followed by Grand Marshals Pat and Bob Allen, driven in a friend’s classic car; office holders, floats, and marchers. The North Elm Butcher Block has donated flags to be displayed by residents residing on the parade route.

Mayor Donald F. Humason Jr., state Rep. Kelly Pease and state Sen. John C. Velis will be helping to honor Essential Workers and participating in the parade. Members of the Westfield Police and Fire Departments and EMTs will be riding in their cars, fire engines and ambulances. A handmade banner spanning the width of the road will acknowledge all essential workers thanking them for their dedication and perseverance.

Ed Bentley, a musician and songwriter from Wyben, will be singing and playing guitar situated on a moving hay truck allowing parade goers to enjoy live music.  Members from the American Legion Post 124 will be attending dressed in uniform, some driving their motorcycles and others marching.



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