Merrimack Celebrates Independence Day

By Loretta Jackson

Spirits lifted post-pandemic as did scores of American Flags roiling the air as spectators cheered the marchers and 43 floats rounding the corner onto Baboosic Lake Road during the home stretch of the Town of Merrimack’s Fourth of July Parade, an event launched at The Commons shopping center on Daniel Webster Highway.

Matt Casparius, director of Merrimack Parks and Rec, said that returning the parade to the people after a cancellation last year due to virus precautions was a gratifying accomplishment.

“It was a smaller parade than a typical year with 43 floats whereas we normally have 60 to 70 floats,” Casparius said. “Overall, it went well.”

The theme of the parade, “Celebrate Merrimack’s History, Past, Present and Future,” underscored recognition of the town’s 275th anniversary. It was founded in 1746. The parade was sponsored by Merrimack Parks and Rec with the Merrimack 275th Anniversary Planning Committee.

Grand Marshall was local Navy veteran Arthur J. Haight, a World War II Seabee and the 2021 recipient of the Boston Post Cane, an honor traditionally afforded the town’s oldest resident. Haight’s son, Robert Haight, an Air Force veteran of Vietnam, joined him in a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. Owner Scott MacDonald, of Chester, drove while his wife, Gabbi, waved to the crowd.

Members of the Knights of Columbus sold hot popcorn, chilled drinks and more than 150 hot dogs. It was the Knights’ 12th year of providing the savory edibles to parade goers.

Longtime Merrimack resident Grace Allison watched the festivities and commended everyone who made the day possible.

“We still love being here,” Allison said. “We look forward a great deal to celebrating the Fourth of July.”

More information on the parade and other events can be had online: merrimackparksandrec.org, or by calling: 882-1046.