Aquinnah celebrates Fourth with car parade

More than 30 vehicles joined in the festivities to celebrate essential workers.

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Julian celebrates Independence Day in Aquinnah. – Lisa Vanderhoop

 

Fourth of July festivities kicked off in Aquinnah with the town’s annual parade. The event, which has traditionally been a foot parade, was reimagined this year as a car parade dedicated to essential workers.

More than 30 vehicles participated in the event, each decorated with American flags, streamers, pinwheels, and signs thanking frontline workers. Headed by members of the Aquinnah Police Department, the parade started at the intersection of Moshup Trail and Old South Road before heading to the Aquinnah Circle. From there, vehicles proceeded down State, Lobsterville, and Lighthouse roads. Spectators decorated in red, white, and blue apparel waited at the end of their driveways, waving American flags and cheering as cars honked their horns or sounded their sirens. Some sang along to the patriotic hits played on MVY radio — a station cars were encouraged to tune in to during the parade.

This year’s celebration was organized by Aquinnah resident Tom Murphy, who first had the idea after seeing so many parades acknowledging first responders and essential workers throughout the country. By reimagining the event as a car parade, and by having spectators watch from their own homes, Murphy was able to safely and successfully celebrate the Fourth of July and thank frontline workers. “Everybody had a smile on their face,” Murphy said. “And anything we can do to bring a smile to people’s faces in this pandemic is pretty terrific.”

Bill Lake, a year-round Aquinnah resident, decorated his blue Mini Cooper to participate in the event. “We love the Island, and we are just so thankful for essential workers,” Lake said. “They take care of us, they feed us. We wanted to say thank you.”

The parade also had some friendly competition — a trophy for the best-decorated float. Aquinnah Police Chief Randhi Belain had the honor of selecting the winners, and decided to award the trophy to Aquinnah residents Cori and Ken DiPietro. The DiPietros’ float was dedicated to healthcare workers, with a large white nursing cap on top.