(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2013)
Thousands lined Dorchester Avenue in the blazing heat Sunday to catch a glimpse of the Dorchester Day Parade, the seaside community’s most prized celebration.
Stretching from Lower Mills to Savin Hill, the yearly event has been a neighborhood tradition for well over a century and celebrated its 50th continuous parade this past weekend.
“I think we’re all crazy doing this, but we like doing this,” said Marty Hogan, the president of the parade committee. “We like seeing the people happy, we like seeing what’s going on in Dorchester, promoting what the best parts of us are, and just having fun on a June day.”
Although the concentration is on fun, the day also has its historical value.
It was started in 1904 to commemorate the 1630 founding of the neighborhood, but fell to the wayside until it was restarted in 1963.
“What makes Dorchester a great community is its diversity,” said Chris McCoy, the president of DotOut. “The fact that people just all come together of all ethnicities, gay straight, we’ve got the political groups, we’ve got it all.”
For the past 50-years the parade, for many, has been the unofficial start of summer, reminding students that they are almost free from class and parents that the sun should be shining more often.
“We love each other here,” said Nam Pham, the executive director of Viet-AID. “This is my third parade, but this one is my favorite, the weather is great.”
There was plenty of sun for parade goers as they watched float after float travel along the three-plus mile route.
From mayoral hopefuls to local sports teams, every corner of Dorchester, the city’s most populous neighborhood, was represented in the parade.
“Dorchester is just one big giant family and Dorchester Day brings that entire family together,” explained Kelly Butts, the “Mayor of Dorchester.”
For photos of the parade, click here.