Five generations come together at Wiscasset parade

Thompson: Maybe rethink timing of celebration
Posted:  Wednesday, July 4, 2018 - 6:30pm
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Five generations of the women of one Wiscasset clan attended the town’s annual Independence Day parade. The family members are Martha Hyler, 92, of Wiscasset, Sally Wentworth of Florida and Wiscasset, Stacey Doray of Wiscasset, and Jyllian York and Jenyvieve Aleah, 3, of Jefferson.

Jenyvieve, whom the family calls Evie, was more interested in the candy and other treats tossed to the waiting children than the marvel of having four other generations of her family surrounding her, but the other family members considered it a blessing.

“Evie’s growing up knowing those four generations above her,” her mother, Jyllian York, said. “One day she’ll look at photos like the one we took today and realize how rare that is.”

Not one of the women has the same last name, but they all share the same sense of humor and generous smiles. Getting the whole clan, including fathers, husbands, and brothers and sisters together on one day wasn’t hard, Doray said, because in the summer, everyone is in or near Wiscasset.  Finding a place in the shade was an added bonus, said Hyler, the matriarch, who is going on 93.

Three years ago, the family welcomed its fifth generation, and on Hyler’s 90th birthday, the Wiscasset Newspaper covered the event.

The parade was well attended, with entries from those seeking office, visits from public safety vehicles, antique cars from the Railway Village, public works tractors, and more whimsical entries such as the Yacht Club’s “synchronized swim team," First Congregational Church’s “bless ewe” entry, and even participants portraying her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her Arch-bichon of Canterbury. The Wiscasset Middle High School band marched while playing patriotic tunes, such as “It’s a grand old flag," and candy rained down plentifully from most of the floats.

But with temperatures hovering in the 90s, most parade-goers elected to go home rather than to the waterfront activities. That was bad news for the nonprofits seeking to raise money, including the Wiscasset cheerleaders, who are selling raffle tickets to win a Bintelli Sprint Scooter, and who were also hoping to make some cash by selling lemonade. Fortunately, NAPA Auto Parts in Wiscasset is also selling the raffle tickets, at $10 each. Only 200 tickets will be sold, and the cheerleaders have yet to sell about 75 of them.

Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Thompson said it may be time to reconsider holding the event on July 4. “There’s no reason why we have to have this celebration at this time of year,” she said. “It’s a bad time. This year, it’s been very hot, but we’re always competing with Heritage Days by trying to schedule our event on July 4.” She also pointed out that because it’s a holiday week, many people are trying to get out of town after the parade to go on vacation or up to camp. Thompson said that in the coming days, it might be a good idea to come up with a different time of the year, or at least a different month, for Wiscasset to hold a major celebration.