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Some coastal towns celebrate Fourth despite rainy forecast

Tyler Kion donned a poncho before marching in the Fourth of July parade in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe staff

Tyler Kion donned a poncho before marching in the Fourth of July parade in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Despite the foreboding forecasts about Hurricane Arthur, some communities on the coast of Massachusetts celebrated the Fourth of July with their usual parades and good spirits.

Manchester-by-the-Sea, Hingham, Orleans, and Chatham took a chance that they could find a window of good weather — and it paid off.

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Manchester-by-the-Sea, north of Boston, experienced light sprinkles prior to the parade’s 10 a.m. start, but the event was never in doubt, said Sergeant Mark McCoy of the Manchester-by-the-Sea police.

“We do it every year, rain or shine,” McCoy said. “There were light sprinkles in the morning, but they cleared once we started the parade. Everything went perfectly.”

The turnout for the parade, which ended shortly before noon, was smaller than usual, McCoy acknowledged. “There was still a big crowd, but definitely smaller than we’re used to,” McCoy said. “The smaller turnout was most likely related to people anticipating the bad weather.”

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Hingham police Sergeant Steven Dearth said about 20 minutes of light rain fell during the parade there. However, it did not stop people from enjoying the spectacle in the South Shore town.

“It started raining about 25 minutes into the parade . . . but no one started turning around and leaving the parade because of it — even those without umbrellas,” Dearth said.

Dearth said everyone remained in great spirits. “The rain didn’t seem to bother anyone,” he said.

Sean Diamond, deputy chief of the Orleans police, said the town’s parade committee made a last-minute decision to hold the event Friday morning. Although the turnout was smaller than usual, he said, the Cape Cod town received positive feedback on the decision.

The parade in Chatham — which was expected to be one of the areas hit hardest by rain caused by Arthur later in the day — also went off without a hitch Friday morning, said Chatham fire Captain Nelson Wirtz.

Wirtz said turnout was normal, despite the overcast skies and high humidity.

“Everything with the parade was tentative depending on the weather, but everything went great,” Wirtz said.

“Everyone was in great spirits.”

Unfortunately, the weather was not as cooperative for other towns on the Cape that had to cancel their parades due to heavy wind gusts and downpours. Hyannis was among the dozens of towns that called off its main parade and fireworks.

Trisha Thadani can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @TrishaThadani.
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