Wiscasset celebrated America’s 246th birthday in grand fashion Monday with a parade followed by a patriotic flag raising on the waterfront, and then capping off a beautiful day weather-wise with a planned fireworks display over the Sheepscot River.
Parade participants began gathering on Churchill Street at 9:30 for their march to the waterfront that kicked off shortly after 10 and was led by the color guard from Bradford-Sortwell-Wright Post 54 of the American Legion. After crossing Gardiner Road, the procession proceeded down Hooper Street to Federal Street then downtown past hundreds of people who gathered along the sidewalks to watch. A good crowd was on hand at the waterfront, too, for the traditional raising of Old Glory, followed by the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the firing of a salute by Legionnaires and playing of “Taps.”
Wiscasset Parks and Recreation Programmer Chelsea Taylor coordinated this year’s parade and waterfront activities, her second year doing so. “Last year we were dealing with the pandemic and it rained. But this morning the weather is beautiful and we’ve got a lot more parade participants,” said Taylor. In fact, Parks and Rec had over 20 parade registrations in advance.
The parade judges were Selectmen’s Chair Sarah Whitfield, Deb Pooler from Wiscasset Middle High School and John Hendrickson of Federal Street. Judging was based on creativity, originality and patriotic spirit. Winners were Linda Verney of Alna, the only entry in the animal category, driving the horse and wagon; automotive: First place, Josh Jones of Wiscasset, behind the wheel of his 1978 Ford Mustang; second, Bob and Tabatha Sawyer of Richmond; and third, J. M. Auto of Wiscasset. Business category: Frank Loupe Trucking of Wiscasset, first place; Wiscasset Speedway, second; Coastal Maine Cuts, third. Non-profit group: Bradford-Sortwell-Wright Post 54 of the American Legion and friends, first; Burke’s Island Farm, second and Wiscasset Republican Committee third for its red tugboat replica made by Tom Minerich and Geof Dow. Best Wiscasset Youth Float: Wiscasset Parks and Recreation.
About the only thing missing were marshals; none were chosen for this year’s celebration.