Milford Labor Day Parade “Celebration of Sports”
Grand Marshals Rollins “Rollie” Hardwick and Marc Maurais, former athletic directors at Milford High School among other gilded credentials, greeted nearly 5,000 reported attendees at the Milford Labor Day Parade, a 77-year-old tradition this year themed, “Celebration of Sports.”
“The town, the community, the people have always been great to me,” said Hardwick, a Milford native whose 88 years included posts in Physical Education coaching, basketball and baseball coaching and an athletic directorship at MHS of 20-years duration. “The kids are great, as well,” he added.
The co-marshals and ensemble mustered the convoy of floats, antique cars, musicians, politicians, scouts and sports team members, along with a fleet of Corvettes, military flag bearers and Shriners’ Bektash mini monster trucks on Labor Day, Sept. 4. The assembly was staged for launch at Milford High School & Applied Technology Center on West Street.
Soon, celebrants were rounding the tree-shaded Milford Oval on Union Square — the heart of the town incorporated in 1794. Paraders tossed candy, slapped high fives, paused for photos then strutted, strolled, drove or biked from the Oval toward the journey’s end and refreshments at VFW Harley-Stanford Post 4368, One VFW Way.
The Milford Labor Day Parade dates to 1946. A similar celebration of sports that year might have showcased Sam Snead’s win of The Open golf championship or Ben Hogan’s victory at the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) competition. Elsewhere, the Cardinals won the World Series.
A more modern celebration of sports well documented online heralds Milford athlete Morgan Andrews, born in 1995. She led Milford High School to its first state title in 2012 as its Varsity girls’ soccer team captain. She played soccer in college. She won the NCAA championship at University of Southern California (USC) and also played professional soccer.
“This parade’s longevity really shows Milford as a caring and hardworking community,” noted Maurais, parade co-marshal, former MHS baseball coach and the school’s athletic director for 30 seasons before retiring last year. “It’s an honor to represent MHS athletics and do so here with Rollie Hardwick — a great mentor for me and so many others.”
More information on the Milford Labor Day Parade can be had on Facebook and YouTube.