Martha’s Vineyard prepares for the big 4th of July parade

Jim Cimeno, Rick Kane, and Chris Dolby (left to right) keep the button tub hand pumper moving along. Built in 1855 by the L. Button Co. in Waterford, N.Y., it was used in Edgartown for more than 75 years. It is now housed in a climate-controlled room. — Photo courtesy of Linley Dolby

The Edgartown Independence Day Parade, a beloved annual tradition, kicks off Monday, July 4, at 5 pm on the nose. The parade route begins at the Edgartown School parking lot, then proceeds down West Tisbury Road to Main Street, bangs a left onto Pease’s Point Way, right on Morse Street, left on Fuller Street, around Starbuck’s Neck, up Water Street, then back up Main Street, where a short ceremony will take place at the Reviewing Station in front of the Old Whaling Church. At this point, members of the Edgartown Fire Department will demonstrate the antique hand-pumped button tub fire truck.

Fred “Ted” Morgan has been organizing the parade for 42 years, after he took over for Robert Convery and Oscar Pease. A retired Air Force Lt. Col. and WWII veteran, Mr. Morgan also leads the parade in uniform.

Should you wish to march, enter a float, show off your antique automobile, or otherwise get involved in the parade, contact the Edgartown Selectmen’s Office at 508-627-6180.

Parking is available at the Edgartown Park and Ride, located at the Triangle, as well as along West Tisbury Road. If you wish to park in one of the public lots downtown, be sure and get there early in the day, and — whatever you do — do not park along the parade route or your car will be towed.

The Good Shepherd Parish will be selling lobster rolls starting at 11 am on the grass in front of St. Elizabeth’s Church on Main Street.

Fireworks over Edgartown Harbor begin around 9 pm.

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