Labor Day parade Sept. 7
MILFORD – Is Donald Trump walking in New Hampshire’s biggest Labor Day parade? Parade organizers would love the billionaire GOP front runner to say yes, but so far it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
Trump would bring "the entertainment factor," said Milford parade organizer Brendan Philbrick, who is organizing the parade with Milford Veteran of Foreign Wars Quartermaster Doug Bianchi.
But Trump campaign people told Philbrick the candidate is likely to send his sons in his place.
At least four other presidential candidates have said yes, including Carly Fiorina and Lindsey Graham. Hillary Clinton seems unlikely to show up.
"They don’t like to commit" to the parade, Philbrick said, though it’s five months before New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 first-in-the-nation primary.
The Sept. 7 Labor Day parade will be Milford’s 67th, and over the years it has seen a number of presidential candidates. The tradition started after World War II and evolved into a magnet for national and state politicians warming up for the primary.
"I think it will be a good parade, with horses, military vehicles, clowns," Philbrick said, and with 10 or 11 bands.
But he’s crossing his fingers about floats. Over the past decades the number of floats has dwindled.
This year’s parade theme is "Honoring Medical Corps and the Health Care Field," and he’s hoping people will build floats around the theme, but he knows it’s the presidential candidates who bring out the crowds.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney marched here in 2007, and the governor is traditionally the parade’s grand marshal.
The parade starts at 1 p.m. and the bands, floats and politicians will step off at Milford High School, then go down West Street to Elm Street, then march east to the Oval, around the Oval, and then over the Stone Bridge to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post off Mont Vernon Street, across from the Boys and Girls Club.
Bianchi wouldn’t be surprised if more than 50,000 people line the parade route if presidential front-runners show up. There are typically 20,000-30,000 people here during a non-presidential year, he said.
The VFW would like candidates to attend its post-parade party, where there will be food and children’s activities and will be held around 2 p.m.