NEW BOSTON — People from Australia and Texas joined revelers from New Boston and surrounding communities to celebrate the town’s 82nd annual Fourth of July celebration on Thursday.
Rev. Woody Woodland of the Community Church of New Boston welcomed more than 1,000 people as he kicked off the parade in town center.
As floats and marchers made their way down Mont Vernon Road/Route 13, adults and children waved flags and clapped. Children armed with water guns sprayed marchers and floats and some returned fire, soaking the crowd as they passed.
“It’s an amazing celebration in New Boston. It’s a small town with a big parade and big hearts,” said Laura Bernard, parade chairman.
The committee started planning for the parade in February, and at 6 a.m. Thursday, Bernard said she was up making changes to the lineup of 17 floats, numerous antique cars, color guards, horse teams and clowns.
“Marchers can go to any parade, but they choose to come here,” said Bernard.
The Bouffard family was well represented by brothers and cousins, who kept their eyes out for marchers throwing candy into the crowd.
Ben, Alex, Josh, Colin and Ryan Bouffard said the best part of the parade was the “old cars,” and, of course, catching candy.
“It’s the best parade I’ve seen,” said Ryan Bouffard, 11.
Also represented was the family of George St. John Sr., who served as an Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal specialist in the Korean War. His picture and uniform graced the family float. His grandsons, Nicholas St. John and Evan Kersting, waved to the crowd in their Navy EOD white uniforms.
Immediately following the parade crowds made their way to the Hillsborough County Youth Center fairgrounds, where food and activities awaited.
The National Anthem was sung by Amy and Amanda Paris just minutes before the firing of the Revolutionary War-era Molly Stark Cannon by the New Boston Artillery Company.
Other activities included a chicken barbecue, a mud volleyball tournament, a fiddler’s contest, an equestrian vaulting demonstration, a demonstration of the New Boston Fire Department’s antique hand-pumped fire engine and the Cowboy Mounted Shooters N.H. Chapter displaying their horse show expertise. A kids’ watermelon eating contest also attracted a crowd.
The day was scheduled to end with a special fireworks display celebrating New Boston’s 250th anniversary.