Rain spares Amherst parade Marti Warren is Citizen of the Year

AMHERST ­– “It never rains on Amherst’s Fourth of July parade.” That’s what longtime parade Master of Ceremonies Bob Shaumann likes to say as he is announcing the floats and marchers during the town’s annual parade.

And this year the weather did cooperate for the most part, with heavy rain holding off until afternoon, leaving most of the spectators and marchers dry and happy.

This was Shaumann’s last year announcing the parade, and he shared the job with his replacement, Reed Panasiti and started off by talking about the weather.

Parade coordinator Nancy Head makes the decisions each year to hold or not to hold the parade and fireworks, he said, after WMUR weather forecaster Kevin Skarupa is consulted. This year threat of rain caused the fireworks to be postponed from the evening of July 3 to Saturday, July 5.

The Amherst Lions Club’s kids’ bike and carriage parade, with about 150 children taking part, led the parade, and they were followed by the town’s fire trucks, with Shaumann explaining how each one is used.

Then came the antique cars, interspersed with past Citizens of the Year, then floats from the town’s Democratic and Republican committees (Democrats won Best Overall Float) and the New Hampshire Rebellion.

There were clowns, the First New Hampshire Regiment, a pony cart, students from Tiger An’s Taekwondo, the Fifth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers, the Amherst Garden Club (Best in Theme), Scouts, Friesian horses, the high school’s First Robotics team (This year’s district champions). the Souhegan Crew Club/Baboosic Lake Rowing Club, New Hampshire Wheelmen, the New Hampshire Police Association’s Fife & Drum Corp., Naval Sea Cadets, the Amherst Patriots (Chairman’s Choice Award), the Souhegan Valley Boys and Girls Club, the Canvas Roadshow, and a host of political office-holders, including Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster.

After the parade, dignitaries, including the governor, town officials, New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation and several past Citizens of the Year, gathered on the reviewing platform for patriotic music by the Amherst Middle School a cappella choir and the Souhegan Valley Chorus.

Dan Leonard, king of the Amherst Lions Club, presented the 2014 Citizen of the Year award to Marti Warren.

All this year’s nominees meet the selection committee’s high standards for community involvement, he said, and Warren has been involved in the community since 1983 and was instrumental in the founding of Souhegan High School and was assistant athletic director and cheerleading coordinator for Pop Warner Football.

During her two decades with the Amherst Garden Club she “contributed to the beautification of Amherst immeasurably,” said Leonard. “Marti Warren truly loves Amherst.”

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or kcleveland@