Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Patriot's Day Parade in Concord

Monday was very hot with record breaking temperatures in our part of the world.  The Boston Marathon runners had very difficult conditions for the race and some (but not many) took the option to transfer their registration to next year.  Many of the groups marching in the Patriot's Day Parade here in Concord wear costumes with many layers, some made with wool, and they had to contend with the extreme heat to participate in this annual tradition.

It was a beautiful day with a bright blue sky.  This is the First Parish Church with a shiny gold dome at the top of the steeple.  This congregation was gathered in 1636, nearly four hundred years ago.

Concord selects an "Honored Citizen" every year - this year it was actually a married couple who have both contributed countless hours to the town.  The Honored Citizens lead the parade.

 I imagine these powdered wigs are pretty hot to wear.

The Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps comes all the way from Annapolis to participate in the parade.  The brass buttons on their uniforms were gleaming in the sun.

This group comes from Michigan every year to march.  Their outfits look so warm (though they are usually fine for April).  The parade goes through town and out to the Old North Bridge (where the "shot heard round the world" was fired).  After a brief ceremony at the bridge, the parade passes through town again about forty-five minutes later.

The band from a local private school always marches in the parade.  They look sharp in their white trousers and blue blazers.  I think this student missed the "wear white sneakers" memo!

There are always some young people marching as part of the reenactment groups.  I love to see how seriously they take their responsibilities!

The bagpipes come near the end of the parade.  You can see the crowds starting to follow the parade behind them.  The parade route is closed to cars so everyone enjoys wandering in the streets and greeting their friends.

The uniforms are very impressive - these "redcoats" look particularly sharp with their furry (and very hot) hats.

The cannons are fired early in the morning.  The first year we lived here it was quite startling to hear.

There are vendors selling balloons, souvenirs, flags...

 ...and cotton candy!

 These patriotic mice were dressed up in the Toy Shop window.

Our neighbor's dog looked very patriotic with her coat and hair bow.

While waiting for the parade to resume, this police officer allowed some small children to sound the siren and horn on his motorcycle.

When the parade is over, you still see people in costume around town.  This officer is passing through one of the old burying grounds with graves that are several centuries old - the center one is this photo is from 1745.

We walk into town for the parade - it only takes a few minutes and solves the parking problem for us.  I like to walk because you usually notice more than you do from the car.  I didn't realize just how huge this tree is until we walked by and got a good look at the trunk.

We watched both segments of the parade and then trudged back up the hill to our house.  The flowering trees are so pretty this year.

I'll post the winner of the spot in the Ella Publishing course Spring Training 2012 a little later this morning.  I wanted to allow any West Coast readers time to post before midnight on Monday and I have to go out first thing Tuesday morning so I'll draw the name as soon as I get back.

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  1. I wanted to let you know that the group from Michigan is the Plymouth Fife and Drum Company. They are from the next town over from us and march in the parades here too. They are great. Glad they made it out to your area as they had a fundraiser to pay their way there. Your photos are terrific too.

  2. Wow, what a wonderful celebration!! I envy you, living in such a historical place! That is one of my favorite subjects in history and your photos are outstanding!! Makes me feel like I was right there! Happy Patriot's Day!

  3. Thanks for sharing your wonderful celebration, Diane.

    @Chrisd - I wondered where in Michigan the Fife and Drum Corps came from. Thanks for posting that. You said you live the next town over. Wouldn't be Canton, would it? My son and his family live there.

  4. Beautiful pictures Diane. I look forward to your parade pics every year. My husband is a Civil War buff so I forwarded him todays blog.

  5. Great photos, Diane. Love the history in your town. I bet their was a parade like no other, esp. for those who marched with that heat! Wow, who would have thought. Thanks for sharing you're wonderful day ;- )

  6. Love the tradition/history your town has. I first heard of this parade when my daughter visited a college friend from Concord (Olivia Achtmeyer) nearly 10 years ago and she took some photos of the parade & the marathon. Back then it was a cold, rainy day - quite a bit different than your weather!
    Karen L 1020 at gmail dot com

  7. Love & looked forward to these photos.(I enjoyed last year's also.) I very much enjoy the history of our country that surrounds you- much different than the wild wild West that we have here- but both contribute to the rich tapestry that is the USA. Thanks again for sharing.

  8. Fantastic photos! I going on a cruise this coming week and I believe we'll be in your neck of the woods!

  9. Love your photos. Such a fun parade. I told my SIL (he is a high school band director) about the picture with the odd shoes. He said he has had students duck tape their shoes before in a pinch when they didn't have the right shoes.

  10. Great photos. Looks like a really wonderful parade. Love your flowering tree. What a pretty town!

  11. The parade pictures are grand. You have so much history to enjoy in your town.

  12. I always enjoy the photos you show of your travels and community--and am impressed with the many ways they inspire your creations. You have a great talent in photography and inspire me to try many different ways of taking pictures.


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