Milford celebrates the fourth

Thursday, July 7, 2011



MILFORD – In spite of the heat, plenty of families came out to take part in games, visit with each other and cool off in the pool at Keyes Field on July 4.

The pool was the most popular spot with games including a “coin toss.” The coins were strewn across the bottom of the pool to be retrieved by young swimmers.

Dylan Alger collected 10 pennies. He said it was “fun” but was much too interested in more searching rather than talking.

“At least he’s cool,” his mother, Selena Alger said.

“Maybe he’ll find enough to go to the concession stand.”

Children’s activities were organized by the town Recreation Department but there were also plenty of nonorganized activities taking place.

Mike Townsend of Milford set up his telescopes with sun filters and, during the times when the sun was bright, offered a science lesson to young and old. As he explained, it’s impossible to look at the sun directly without eye damage so filters must be used. Adults were as fascinated as children with the workings of the two filters, a red one to show the flares and a white one for the spots.

This year is a good one for solar activity, Townsend said.

Three of the flares were visible as “extrusions” along the rim of the sun, and three spots showed up as black circles on the whitened sun face.

A woman who asked to be called “Grace” called it “amazing.”

“We have such a fascinating sun,” she said.

Younger observers oohed and awed.

Townsend said he has been studying the sun for the past 15 years. His display included posters and explanations.

On the other side of the grounds several members and supporters of the swim team were raising money for their sport teaching young and old how to tie-dye shirts. They all sported shirts in a dizzying array of bright patterns. Most of the customers were “tweens.”

Teenagers Hannah Dallas and Kelly Bourque folded and pleated white shirts into a wheel, secured them with elastic bands, and then squirted on color – vivid combinations of blue, green and purple.

Both girls said they were first time volunteers working with the youngest children.

“A friend said she was going to volunteer and asked if I’d like come too,” Dallas said, after deciding she wanted to dye a swirl pattern and choose her colors.

Bourque said they were having “a great time.”

They carried their shirts away in plastic bags. It would take another 24 hours of drying and rinsing before the shirts could be worn.

Other activities included a limbo pole, watermelon seed-spitting contest, and various field events. Earlier in the day there was a patriotic bike parade and contest.

DJ Dave Alcox provided background music and lots of encouragement during games.

Jessie Salisbury can be reached at 654-9704 or

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