Scituate honors Purple Heart recipients with boat parade

More than 100 boats decorated with lights paraded around Scituate Harbor at dusk on Aug. 7 as the coastline glowed purple from luminaria placed along the shore from Minot to Humarock beaches.

The luminaria were in honor of members of the Scituate community who were awarded the Purple Heart while serving their country. Purple Heart Day is observed nationwide on Aug. 7.

Together, the parade and display were a replacement for the annual Scituate Heritage Days, which were canceled for the first time in 52 years to protect the public from the COVID-19 virus, according to Elaine Bongarzone of the Scituate Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the annual event.


The traditional celebration features two days of music, food, and attractions that typically drew thousands of people to Scituate’s downtown – too large a crowd to meet safety rules during the pandemic, Bongarzone said.

The replacement event, which allowed people to maintain social distancing, “was awesome, just over the top, and very well received,” she said. “It exceeded our expectations.'

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.