Milford’s Labor Day parade celebrates farmers

MILFORD – With farmstands oveflowing with corn, tomatoes and all the rest of the season’s bounty, it’s a good time to celebrate who made it possible.

Milford’s annual Labor Day Parade will be held on Monday, Sept. 1, and its theme is “The Year of the American Farmer.”

Events begin at 11:30 a.m. with activities and food on the Community House lawn, followed by the parade at 1 p.m.

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.

A post-parade party at the VFW Hall will have music and food.

Organizing the parade this year are and Brendan Philbrick Doug Bianchi of the VFW,

Funding the parade has been an issue in the past, and in 2011 it almost didn’t go on after the VFW announced it didn’t have the money.

This year, said Philbrick, the Kaley and Keyes foundations each gave $2,500 and there is $5,000 from the town, a total of $10,000.

“We have 10 grand for marching bands,” said Philbrick in an email, “if I had more I would have horses, clowns, and antique military vehicles also.”

Next year he will consider organizing a road race to raise funds.

It’s New Hampshire’s biggest Labor Day parade and comes a week before the state primary election.

The tradition started after World War II and evolved into a magnet for national and state politicians warming up for New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney marched here in 2007, and the governor is traditionally the parade’s grand marshal.

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