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Parade Day Looking Good!By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, September 29, 2005
North Adams – The Oct. 2 Fall Foliage Festival 50th Anniversary “Golden Jubilee” parade is expected to be blessed with sensational weather, according to all area weather forecasters.
Parade participants and spectators could be basking in temperatures predicted to rise to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and all regional weather reports point to sunshine and blue skies.
The parade is scheduled to step off from the Curran Highway Wal-mart at 1 p.m., and travel along Curran Highway to State Street, then turn right and continue up Main Street to Ashland Street, and conclude at the Ashland Street senior citizen high-rise apartment complex.
Parade Director Paul Renaud said that the fickle New England fall weather is always a factor as parade day approaches.
“And now that we’re supposed to have great weather, I’m happy,” he said.
"The Community Came Through"
Renaud said that he and parade committee members are appreciative of the support shown the anniversary parade from the public.
Parade donations are sought yearly, and traditionally, parade organizers set the donation goal at $50,000. But this year, the goal was to raise $60,000, he said.
“And the community came through,” Renaud said.
Renaud said that parade committee members are very excited about the number of floats scheduled to appear during the march. This year, 18 groups registered as float participants; during recent years, parade floats usually numbered about eight or nine, Renaud said.
Past Grand Marshals Offer Encore
Parade Grand Marshals from years past were invited to return to their grand marshal roles as tribute to the parade’s five-decade history, and 18 past grand marshals accepted the invitation.
City Mayor John Barrett III, former city Mayor Richard Lamb, former Gov. Jane Swift, former City Councilor Frances V. Buckley, Ron Plock, Donald Thurston, and Anthony J. Sacco are among those expected to return to the parade’s place of honor.
Renaud said that 20 marching bands have signed on to deliver the brass, bass, and cymbal sounds that draw cheers and applause from parade attendees.
The Anheuser-Busch “Budweiser Clydesdales” are scheduled to amble along the route, with an eight-horse hitch and a Budweiser wagon.
The popular horses arrived at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Sept. 27, and the public has been welcome to visit the horses during specific hours.
A Special Day
Renaud said that he remembers “parade day” as being a special time during his youth; a family member lived along the parade route and relatives gathered to celebrate the big event.
Donna Thomas of Quincy Street has hosted a family-and-friend parade gathering at her home for over 20 years. For many years, Thomas lived on Ashland Street and a front porch was an ideal spot for watching the parade, she said.
Since she moved to Quincy Street, her guests have watched the parade from a second-story porch or traveled to the western end of the street for a view.
Speaking on Sept. 28, Thomas said that her parade day preparations are getting underway.
“Today’s the day,” she said. “It’s the day when I get the cooking started. I’ll be cooking from now ‘til Sunday.”
Susan Bush can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or at 802-823-9367.