PLYMOUTH — Eight days after a rain-soaked Fourth of July, residents lined Route 3A on Saturday morning in red, white, and blue for a belated Independence Day parade.
Plymouth, like some other communities, rescheduled its Independence Day festivities as Hurricane Arthur approached the coast last weekend.
“We can’t fight Mother Nature, but we did the best we could,” said Ken Tavares, president of July 4 Plymouth, Inc., a nonprofit that organizes the parade. “People were smiling, they were happy. Kids loved it.”
Cindy Durette, sitting on a star-spangled folding lawn chair with her husband and three children in their front yard, stretched out her arms toward some marchers who were handing out candy.
“What are you, trick or treating?” called her husband, Tom Durette.
She laughed as a child threw some Tootsie Rolls into her gray grocery bag.
The family came out to watch the parade, which began across the street from their home, as soon as they heard the celebratory fire engine sirens.
“We knew we had our seats,” Cindy Durette said.
The parade was fertile ground for local elected officials and political candidates, many of whom zig-zagged along the route, shaking the hands of prospective voters on both sides of the street.
“I feel the campaign exploding around me as we head into these last eight weeks” before the gubernatorial primary, state treasurer and Democratic candidate Steve Grossman said. “And Plymouth County is going to be central to our strategy.”
Attorney General Martha Coakley, also on the Democrats’ gubernatorial primary ballot, said the crowd was “very receptive.”
“We had plans to come last Friday, but of course Mother Nature and Hurricane Arthur had other plans,” Coakley said. “I think we can celebrate the Fourth of July on any day.”
Independent candidate for governor Evan Falchuk said he “met a lot of great people who want to see something new” in politics.
Along the route, vendors sold Spider-Man beach toys and stuffed animals. Children cheered as Lily, a miniature Appaloosa horse and registered therapy animal, walked by in a frilly red, white, and blue decorative saddle.
Outgoing state Senate President Therese Murray, first elected to represent her Plymouth district in 1992, presided as the parade’s grand marshal from a white convertible.
US Representative Bill Keating marched in an American flag tie and wished parade-goers a “happy July 12” and “happy independence season,” drawing a few laughs.
“This is America’s hometown, one of the most exciting Fourth of July parades in the whole state,” Keating said.
And between handshakes, some politicians found time to have some fun.
Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz handed out candy from a blue bucket, and State Representative Vinny deMacedo marched behind a truck carrying a large eagle, its red and white wings outstretched above a starred blue body. It was carved out of dry insulation foam and held up with chicken wire, deMacedo said.