News

Milford Labor Day parade is a go

Thursday, September 1, 2011

By KATHY CLEVELAND

Staff Writer

MILFORD – The town’s 65th Labor Day parade will step off Monday at 1 p.m. at the high school on West Street, with bands, marchers, floats and politicians.

One declared presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, had sent a letter if confirmation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, saying he will march.

But according to the Union Leader, Romney’s wife Ann will march instead because he changed his plans and will head to South Carolina on Labor Day “to appear at a conservative forum being put together by conservative U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.”

Another declared candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, had confirmed that he is coming here and as of Wednesday morning there were no indications that he won’t show up.

Earlier this year it had looked like there would be no parade after the Milford Veterans of Foreign Wars announced it did not have enough money. Then Brendan Philbrick, son of longtime parade organizer and town moderator Bob Philbrick, took over fundraising and raised the funds.

But at a recent meeting of the Labor Day Events Committee someone mentioned that “a lot of people still think the parade is cancelled,” according to meeting notes.

The 65th annual parade will go on and, as usual, it will be a place for presidential hopefuls to meet residents of the first primary state.

Romney and Huntsman confirmed in letters that they will be here, said Philbrick. Ron Paul backed out, saying the $1,000 fee was too much.

Often potential presidential hopefuls just show up, so “I hope there will be other GOP candidates,” Philbrick said.

Milford’s is the state’s largest Labor Day parade, and four years ago it attracted Barack Obama, Romney, and Chris Dodd, .This year Romney and Huntsman are announced candidates for the Republican nomination for the 2012 U.S. presidential election, and so are Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain, among others.

Candidates must pay the $1,000 fee, which goes toward the following year’s parade expenses. Incumbents do not have to pay.

Labor Day Events Committee members talked about putting A-frame signs on the Oval to let people know about the parade and other weekend events, which include a movie premier at the VFW on Saturday evening and fireworks on Sunday night.

Before and during the parade there will be face painting, food sales and other activities on the Community House lawn, beginning around 11 a.m. and ending around 3 p.m. The VFW is raffling a vintage car.

The parade starts at 1 p.m. and there will be a party at the VFW at 3 p.m. Gov. John Lynch and his wife Susan Lynch have confirmed that they will be here, and the governor will be the honorary grand marshal, as he has for the past dozen years.

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