FAIRHAVEN — Hundreds turned out Tuesday to observe Independence Day with a reading of the Declaration of Independents by Selectman Chairman Bb Espindola, a brief history of the fort by Chris Richards, the tourism director, and of course the firing of the five cannon at the site.
The weather couldn’t have been better as people jockeyed for a good view from the boulders at the fort.
Brooke Douglas, Fairhaven High Class of 2017, sang the national anthem.
Richards made a fond mention of Natalie Hemingway, who died last month. A music teacher for 31 years, she was a principal force for the establishment of the July 4 ceremonies. Richards said that everybody who went to school in Fairhaven knows the tune to “Fifty Nifty States” because of Hemingway.
The observance followed the traditional parade with floats representing Cowboy Al from cable TV, Dorothy Cox Chocolates, Little People’s College, the American Legion, and the proudest one of all: the Paul Revere Bell from the tower at the Oxford School.
The day started with a flag-raising at the high school, where two dozen vintage automobiles had lined up to conduct the first phases of the parade to Fort Phoenix down Green Street.
The vintage vehicles in the parade all have a story to tell for anyone who asks.
Donald Fuller’s 1950 Oldsmobile, for example, is made up of chassis parts from other vehicles such as a Corvette, a Crown Vic, and a Monte Carlo. Fuller said his dad owned Park Motors, instilling a lifetime fondness for what were once some of the fastest cars on the road.
“It took me five years, and two for the interior” Fuller said.
Adam Swift was driving the 1931 ice wagon that bore the advertising for the family business, Crystal Ice. For him there was a slipup as the 650 pound block of ice in the truck bed got away and landed on the pavement at the high school.
Dom Corey’s 1930 Buick was a hit with the crowd, a two-tone paint job on a car that had been a basket case until he did the interior and Steve Silva did the body work.
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