Newtown loves a parade, and there is no parade Newtown loves more than the annual Newtown Labor Day Parade. Determining the parade’s theme and its grand marshal are among the priorities Parade Committee volunteers tackle when planning begins in the dark, cold days of winter.
“Every year, we receive many suggestions as to what the parade theme should be,” said Newtown Labor Day Parade Committee President Beth Caldwell. On Monday, April 21, Ms Caldwell and Parade Vice-President in Charge of Line-Up Robin Buchanan announced that the 2014 parade theme would be “Write On, Newtown!”
C.H. Booth Library Acting Director Beryl Harrison suggested this year’s theme, to honor the many area authors and illustrators.
“We thought it was a very good idea,” Ms Caldwell said.
It is the hope of the Parade Committee that floats entered in the parade will reflect the theme.
Ms Caldwell and Ms Buchanan are also pleased that Newtown author and garden expert Sydney Eddison has accepted their invitation to serve as Grand Marshal of the 2014 Newtown Labor Day Parade, which takes place Monday, September 1, beginning at 10 am.
“We were looking for someone representative of the town,” Ms Caldwell said. “Sydney has done a lot to bring notoriety to Newtown through her writing and sharing her gardens. She’s one of our town treasures, in addition to being a prolific writer.”
Ms Eddison is the author of seven books on gardening and over 100 articles for well-known publications. She has also lectured and taught courses on gardening, among her many accomplishments. A full biography and interview with Ms Eddison will appear in The Newtown Bee, as the parade date draws closer.
The Parade Committee has already received notice that many popular groups will be returning to Newtown to march in the 2014 parade, along with all five of Newtown’s fire companies.
“This year,” Ms Buchanan said, “we also have Newtown’s own folk band, Panacca, taking part in the parade, too.”
Panacca is made up of Newtown High School graduates from the ’60s and ’70s, including Corky and Leslie Ballard, who are among the original band members.
Newtown High School and Bethel High School Marching Bands will add music to the day, she said, “and we hope other local high school marching bands will join us, as well.”
Continuing in the same spirit as last year, said Ms Caldwell, the committee has determined that artillery groups that normally fire off loud shots along the parade route will be asked to not do so.
Sponsorships are available for businesses and organizations, at Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Entry levels, Ms Buchanan said. Donations from residents are needed as well, to offset the costs of the parade.
“We are very excited to have Newtown Savings Bank as our Presenting Sponsor this year,” Ms Caldwell said, “and Todd Ingersoll of Ingersoll Motors is our first Platinum Sponsor this year.”
A new interactive website, www.newtownctlabordayparade.org, will provide visitors with information, as well as links to donate, sponsor, participate, or volunteer online, said Ms Buchanan.