And They Marched On….
By Michele Taranto
It didn’t feel like July 3rd in Norwood at 59 degrees and a light drizzle, but the spectacular Annual 4th of July parade marched on despite Mother Nature’s summer antics. Maybe the entire route was not filled as in past years, however, Norwood residents came out with umbrellas and rain jackets to celebrate!
Maybe the streets were not lined with as many spectators as previous years, but residents attended armed with tents, umbrellas, and rain jackets to cheer and celebrate America’s annual party. While the parade was slightly smaller this year, with only six weeks to schedule, organize, and pull off this grand event, the Norwood 4th of July committee and the Norwood Recreation Department should be highly commended to maintain the Town’s Independence Day tradition.
There were a few changes necessary with the short notice; the date was changed to July 3rd as many bands and acts were already booked for July 4th late afternoon and the 10 a.m. start would have interfered with religious services from churches on the parade route. Runners still took to the streets at 9 a.m. eager to again participate in the Firecracker 5K Road Race and the Children’s Bicycle, Tricycle Doll Carriage, and Historic Character parade this year was incorporated within the main event at the intersection of Walpole and Washington Sts.
“It was touch with the late notice and competing with other towns [to confirm entertainers],” Norwood Recreation Assistant Director Catherine Seastedt said. “Also, with 4th of July on a Sunday, there are churches on the route and we wanted to make sure we didn’t conflict with that.”
The Grand Marshal in the parade this year will be the Cooper family, in honor of the Town’s beloved Assistant Town Manager, Bernie Cooper. The parade theme was Hometown Heroes, which honored Norwood’s unsung superstars during the pandemic. For those experiencing Norwood’s parade for the first time, they were likely very impressed. Fire and emergency vehicles from Norwood and many surrounding towns kicked things off, which were followed by antique and military cars, marching bands, Norwood Police Chief William G. Brooks, III, a hip hop dance group, a horse troop, and various local sports teams and organizations.
Again, gratitude and thanks is graciously given to Norwood’s 4th of July committee. Without them, this grand event, which typically draws thousands of enthusiastic spectators to Norwood, would not be possible: Maria Henry, Mary Cantarow, Martha Colamaria, Jim Henry, Lou Harris, and Travis Farley and Catherine Seastedt, both of the Norwood Recreation Department.
And of course, a heartfelt thank you to Bernie Cooper who had given up so much of his time and heart to bring pleasure to so many through virtually for so many years. While he was honored this year as the Grand Marshal, Bernie Cooper’s presence in Norwood will never be forgotten and for all his selfless efforts to make Norwood the place everyone wants to live, his devotion will be commemorated next year for Norwood’s 150th Anniversary.
“We plan on honoring Bernie next year at the 150th anniversary,” Henry said. “Bernie is the face of this town. I don’t know if anyone realizes all the fun stuff was because of Bernie. We really want to honor him. Next year so we can honor him the way we should.