Judges Reflect On 2019 Labor Day Parade Winners
While the 2019 Newtown Labor Day Parade was a bit shorter than in previous years, this year’s group of judges, Alex Rankin, Janet Knapp, Charlie Rankin, Shannon Will, Kris Schwartz, and Jennifer Chaudhary, still had their work cut out for them as each separate unit took its moment to shine.
Ms Will, a Newtown Bee Associate Editor, said she and her fellow judges were very pleased with NewArts and wowed by the performance by the young actors involved in the recent production of Matilda the Musical.
Likewise, the dancers from Ashurst Academy of Irish Dance were also impressive.
The judges were unable to see the full performance by Newtown High School, which was noted following the parade. While deciding which live musical performers were worthy of awards, Ms Knapp said she had been able to hear the award-winning marching band for much of the parade route, but couldn’t see them.
The others, however, were unable to fully appreciate the performance by the students on Monday morning.
Judges did feel that Pack 470 was worthy of Most Fitting Parade Theme due to their presentation. The group’s lead vehicle was turned into a fire truck, named Engine 470, and many of the Scouts who were marching followed suit, wearing cardboard boxes that had been turned into smaller versions of fire engines.
Many of the “engines” included hand-lettered notes on them, thanking first responders. In their notes for the emcees, the pack also thanked Grand Marshal Bill Halstead for his years of service.
The honors for Most Patriotic went to Scout Troop 70. Judges enjoyed the large American flag the group carried over the parade route.
Arriving in front of the judges’ stand, the Scouts did a flag folding ceremony, which impressed the judges and grand marshal.
The judges were unanimous in their selection of Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue for the Best Fire Company honor. The group appreciated that the town’s largest fire company stopped its line of march in front of the grandstand, and saluted the judges and grand marshal.
“They looked really nice,” Ms Chaudhary mentioned.
She was also impressed with the Church Hill Village display, which included a few trucks and a van, along with a pair of dancers. “They really brought a lot to the parade,” she said of the Best New Entry Runner-Up.
All of the judges enjoyed the Living History Guild, as well. The group did all steps to set up an antique cannon but stopping short of firing the unit. The group went home with Best New Entry top honors.
Once the points and rankings were tallied, the following units were left with awards and bragging rights — until next year:
First Place: NewArts
Runner-Up: St Rose School
Best Musical Entry-Senior
First Place: Mattatuck Drum Band
Runner-Up: “Elvis Presley” (Robert James McArthur)
Best Musical Entry-Junior
First Place: Ashurst Irish Dance Academy
Most Patriotic Entry
First Place: Boy Scout Troop 70
Runner-Up: Veterans of Foreign Wars and Color Guard
First Place: St Rose School
Runner-Up: Newtown High School
Best Fire Company
First Place: Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue
Runner-Up: Hook & Ladder
Best New Entry
First Place: The Living History Guild
Runner-Up: Church Hill Village
Most Fitting Parade Theme
First Place: Pack 470 Cub Scouts
Runner-Up: American Legion
First Place: CT Tiare Polynesian/Fiesta del Norte
Runner-Up: Mariachi Fiesta
Best Non-Musical Float
Cub Scout Pack 470
Runner-Up: Newtown Cultural Arts Commission
Most Crowd Pleasing/Rooster Award
First Place: Newtown Girl Scouts
2019 Legend & Pioneers Award