CONWAY — Uncle Sam had to break out the sunscreen on the hottest Fourth of July in recent memory. Temperatures topped 90 degrees across the Mount Washington Valley but didn’t deter folks from marching in parades, running in road races and enjoying community celebrations.
People began setting up lawn chairs before 8 a.m. in North Conway's Schouler Park for the late afternoon entertainment and nighttime fireworks.
John Eastman, Conway Parks and Rec director, and his staff got their day started at 7 a.m. by prepping Schouler Park and getting ready for the parade in Conway Village. The parade went off on schedule at 1:30 p.m., going from Hillside Avenue onto Main Street and ending at Kennett Middle School.
Serving as grand marshal was Phyllis Sherman of Sherman Farms, who is also celebrating 40 years of serving on the town’s zoning board of adjustment. Sherman traveled the route in style, not in a traditional convertible, but as part of the Conway Fire Department’s 100th anniversary, she rode in the department’s 1919 fire truck. She also mastered the parade wave.
Bridgton, Maine, got its activities off on the right foot (or maybe it was the left) with the annual Bridgton 4 road race, which attracted more than 2,000 runners and walkers. Tamworth also hosted a 5K.
Fryeburg got the parade ball rolling with its annual Independence Day Parade down Main Street to Bradley Park.
The annual Hellen Hayes Independence Day Parade in Bartlett had that small town feel with big time participation from the community. A sea of red, white and blue made its way down along the parade route from Precinct Park down Main Street to Hodgkins Park when a community barbecue was held and featured live music from Simon Crawford and Kevin Dolan.
Tamworth’s parade ran from Depot Road to Tamworth Village and led to an afternoon of family fun, which included live music by Even Better Medicine; table tennis, badminton and corn hole on the History Center lawn; an obstacle course, nature games, face painting and a barbecue at Remick Park; and an egg toss, silly races and ultimate Frisbee contest behind the Tamworth Distillery. There was even fortune telling outside the Barnstormers and a craft fair at the Town House.
Fireworks were scheduled to culminate the day with displays planned in Tamworth and North Conway.