Houlton kicks off Independence Day with a huge celebration parade

2 weeks ago

HOULTON, Maine — There were so many entries in the annual Houlton Fourth of July Parade that there were 20 entrants still waiting when the first to go had made the one-mile loop back to the start.

“We measure the size of the parade by how many are still in the lot when the first is done and arrives back,” said parade organizer Jane Torres, Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce executive director. “My guess is it was at least 100.”

The annual parade, like all Houlton July 4 events, is a huge draw, and 30 minutes before the parade began, watchers were already several deep along both sides of Main Street heading into the downtown historic square. 

Not to mention all the buzz of entrants making final preparations at the parade staging area at St. Mary’s Catholic Church just before 10 a.m.

The great granddaughters of Rosie the Riveter Louise London led the parade, followed by parade grand marshal, London who turns 100 this month. 

There were musicians, military vehicles, fire trucks, dogs, clowns, elaborate floats and fun creations. There were kids handing out mini flags, red, white and blue pinwheels and candy, not to mention lots of bubbles.

As the parade entrants passed by the parade watchers, there were cheers, claps, a few whistles and hoots.