Log In


Reset Password
  • MENU
    News
    Monday, July 22, 2024

    Small-town feel makes July 4 parade special in Stonington Borough

    Co-Grand Marshals Martha Snyder, left, and Stephanie Hayes wave to the crowd during the Independence Day parade Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Stonington Borough. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
    Buy Photo Reprints
    The Warden and Burgesses of Stonington Borough hold the American flag before the start of the Independence Day parade in Stonington Borough on Thursday, July 4, 2024. (Dana Jensen/The Day).
    Buy Photo Reprints
    Olivia Cichon, left, of Boston, with her daughter, Bailey, 3 and Dawn Gonzalez, of Bridgeport, take videos of the Independence Day parade Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Stonington Borough. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
    Buy Photo Reprints
    Santiago Sanchez, 6, visiting from Austin, Texas, looks down the road while riding in the back of a Jeep during the Independence Day parade Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Stonington Borough. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
    Buy Photo Reprints
    Members of the Freemasons in southeastern Connecticut participate in the Independence Day parade Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Stonington Borough. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
    Buy Photo Reprints
    The Ancient Mariners on Connecticut march in the Independence Day parade Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Stonington Borough. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
    Buy Photo Reprints
    People listen to Ann Baldelli and Corey Fyke take turns reading the Declaration of Independence at Wadawanuck Square after the Independence Day parade Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Stonington Borough. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
    Buy Photo Reprints
    After the Independence Day parade in Stonington Borough people gathered at Wadawanuck Square for the reading of the Declaration of Independence and at the end shouted “A Pox on King George!” Thursday, July 4, 2024. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
    Buy Photo Reprints

    Stonington – Perched atop the back of a restored 1955 Ford Thunderbird, Stonington Borough fixtures Martha Snyder and Stephanie Hayes beamed with pride on Thursday as the vintage muscle car rolled down Water Street.

    The two were co-grand marshals of the borough’s long-running Fourth of July parade and were met with cheers from the crowd, many waving small American flags, that had lined the streets along the parade route.

    “I’m damn lucky I live in the borough,” Snyder, 97, said with a smile.

    Snyder’s time in Stonington dates back to the 1950s. She and her husband, Bob, are the longtime former owners of Dodson’s Boatyard. Hayes and her husband Walter are the owners of the Water Street Cafe, a local staple.

    “I’m very proud to have the honor of being here and be appreciated by so many people,” Hayes said. “

    Hayes said the small-town feel of the borough’s annual parade is what makes it so special. Not only do most people know each other but anyone can decide they want to be a part of it by simply joining the procession, she said.

    Saturday’s parade kicked off at 10 a.m. at Wadawanuck Square where Tom and Laura Moran adjusted the patriotic bunting adorning their Jeep.

    “We’re just residents of the area and very patriotic,” Laura Moran said.

    The couple planned to join the procession with members from three generations of the Morans, including grandchildren and a son-in-law from Paraguay who recently obtained citizenship.

    Saturday’s parade was hosted by the Stonington Village Association and participants included local civic organizations and clubs, vintage firetrucks and an occasional cannon blast provided by The Ancient Mariners on Connecticut.

    The parade was expected to wrap up with a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a chance for participants to yell “A Pox on King George!” — a reference to the king of England at the time of the American Revolution.

    Stonington’s parade was one of a number of celebrations that took place across the region, including parades in Groton and Lyme. Norwich hosts a fireworks display on Friday.

    g.smith@theday.com

    Comment threads are monitored for 48 hours after publication and then closed.