Cue the Parade!!
By Bella Caggiano
The Norwood 4th of July committee miraculously planned a parade in six weeks last year. In 2020, due to Covid-19, the parade was unfortunately cancelled. This year, the 4th is back on, and it returns bigger and better than ever!
The celebration will begin on Monday, July 4, with the traditional kick-off of the Children’s Bicycle, Tricycle, Doll Carriage, and Historical Character Parade at 1 p.m., in downtown Norwood. The fee is $1 per child and participants will receive a festive t-shirt and participation ribbon. Winners will be based on best decoration on themselves or their vehicles and will be invited to ride in the Grand Parade!
There will be a Public Reading at 2 p.m., at the historic Old Parish Cemetery (rear of 480 Washington St.) of orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ famous 4th of July address ‘What to the Slave is the 4th of July?’ This event is free and open to the public. A Carillon Concert will be held at 2:30 p.m., from Town Hall, with performances from Norwood’s own Lee Leach and Margaret Angelini from Wellesley College. Tours of the magnificent 50-bell Memorial Carillon will be held during the parade.
The vibe on the Town Common shifts gears towards athletics at 5 p.m., as runners line up for the Norwood Firecracker 5k Road Race. Information and applications can be found at Norwood Town Hall, the Civic Center, Morrill Memorial Library, or online at Racewire.com. With spectators lining the streets for the race and the parade, their cheers and encouragement marks this a 5K event like no other!
The main event will begin at 5:30 p.m., at the Coakley Middle School. The parade route will run through Washington St. through South Norwood, through downtown, and end at the Shaw’s Plaza. The Grand Marshal is the Norwood 150th Anniversary Steering Committee and this year’s theme is ‘Honor our Past and Welcome our Future’.
To warm up the crowds for the main event, Norwood and surrounding municipalities lead the way at 5:30 p.m., with an impressive lineup of fire and emergency vehicles, antique and classic cars, and WWII, Korean War and other military equipment. This is always a favorite segment of the day and famous for announcing their approach with incredible sirens!
The excitement builds throughout the afternoon, and finally, at 5:45 p.m., Norwood’s infamous parade begins! The lineup is filled with national and international marching bands, entertaining acts, floats, community groups and local politicians. There are 16 performing groups scheduled with the Colonial Boys leading the way, and veteran parade spectators will be thrilled to see the return of the Colonial Pipers and the Cycling Murrays! The parade headliner will be the Saints Brigade Drum and Bugle Corp. from New York with 75 – 80 marchers and band members. The Norwood 4th of July Committee has been hard at work to again bring on the best entertainment for all of Norwood to enjoy!
Gratitude and thanks should be given to Norwood’s 4th of July committee. Without them, this grand event, which adds so much pleasure to the local community and draws thousands of enthusiastic spectators to Norwood, would not be possible: Assistant Town Manager Michael Rosen, Maria Henry, Mary Cantarow, Martha Colamaria, Jim Henry, and Lou Harris. And of course, a heartfelt thank you to Bernie Cooper who had given up so much of his time and heart for so many years with his efforts to bring pleasure to Norwood residents and surrounding communities for so many years.
The 4th of July committee is still looking for volunteers the day of the event. For more information, email Norwood Assistant Town Manager Michael Rosen at [email protected]. This is a great opportunity to share in what makes this event, and Norwood, the place where everyone wants to live