Photo by Rose Huling
For the first time since 1955, there will be no Fourth of July parade this year in Natick.
The event will be cancelled because there is a a lack of volunteers and time to prepare, according to the Facebook page and official website of The Friends of the Fourth, the sponsors of the annual event.
However, the posts did mention that there will be other events sponsored by the friends group and the Natick Recreation and Parks Department, including family night, which is scheduled for July 2.
With a fairly long thread of Natick residents bemoaning the parade's cancellation on the Facebook page, a group representative responded:
"I know it's unfortunate to cancel an event that's lasted 50-plus years, but the event needs new Friends, new ideas ... and some time to sit back and figure how best to celebrate the 4th in Natick without having to rely on the same few people."
The group said on their Facebook page that parade-lovers should stay tuned for updates.
The parade last year featured an array of fire engines, bands, floats, and also hosted famed children's television show host Rex Trailer of WBZ-TV's Boomtown.
The town has not hosted July 4 holiday fireworks since 2005, according to Maureen Sullivan, a member of Friends of the Fourth, in a previous Boston.com article.
She said the town used to show fireworks from behind the Natick Mall, but cannot safely do so anymore due to the new condominiums constructed there.
"People keep saying you should hold it at the high school and such and such, but it’s fire safety regulations, and we also need good access roads to get traffic in and out safely," Sullivan said.
She said residents usually travel to nearby communities for fireworks, such as Waltham, Newton or Boston.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org