Natick celebrates Independence Day with a patriotic parade - a beloved tradition that has delighted residents for over 60 years. The parade route begins at the Wilson Middle School and ends just after St. Patrick's Church in Natick Center. Spectators line up all along Route 27, some putting chairs out the night before to "claim" their sport.
My family starts the day with a pancake breakfast at the First Congregational Church, which is just across the street from the parade main stage. This is also a Natick tradition organized by the Kiwanis Club every year. The breakfast is a fundraiser for the Natick community.
Peter O’Malley, who has been performing at the parade for almost two decades, roller-skates across Main Street, inviting kids sing and to come out onto the street to play goofy games.
The parade begins with the winner of Natick's Voice, a youth singing competition, performing the national anthem. Then come the floats, i.e., decorated bikes and wagons from the Kid's Parade, followed by Natick Runners. Next, antique automobiles come roaring down the street, much to everyone's delight. Finally, fire trucks from Natick and neighboring towns pass through the town, blasting their sirens - an experience both terrifying and mesmerizing for my family. We have learned that sound-canceling headphones much enhance the experience.
Natick's 4th of July parade is a favorite family tradition in the summer. Love the parade? Comment below to tell us why.