An article in the Boston Globe by Christopher Muther, “From Maine to Cuba, the hot places for travel in 2016” offered Ocean Park, Maine as a suggested vacation destination this year. It’s an eclectic list and, although I’d love to visit any of the vacation spots included in the article, Ocean Park is one trek I happily make every year.
The article highlights that the best time to go to Ocean Park is July 4th because of their annual holiday parade. I grew up in Saco, a neighboring town, and my family still has a home in the Ferry Beach area just up the road from Ocean Park so I understand the appeal. The whole parade experience feels like a throwback to an earlier time, as does the town.
When my girls were younger, the Fourth of July parade in Ocean Park become an annual tradition. We always have a full house for the 4th, so friends and extended family were usually in town to join in on parade day too. The kids would work on making signs and decorating my Dad’s trailer as their excitement grew in anticipation of the big day. On Parade day they would dress up, in their best red, white and blue, and climb into the back of the trailer which my dad would pull through the parade route with his truck. They were always ready with plenty of beaded necklaces and candy to throw to the eager children on the side lines.
As I started thinking about the many Ocean Park Fourth of July parades we have been a part of over the years, I began to wonder what the younger members of our family remembered most about the parade. So, I asked them.
Here are some of the memories they shared about their favorite part of being in the Fourth of July parade…
“What I like best about the parade is throwing candy into the crowds. Despite what you may think, we don’t actually eat that much of it ourselves! There are a ton of kids in the crowds and it’s always fun to make someone smile with a well-aimed sweet.”
“My favorite part about the parade is decorating the float. Everyone pitches in to put as much red, white and blue on as we can and it feels so cool to see something we worked on in the parade.”
“I love throwing candy to the crowds as we go by. It’s so much fun to be part of the parade – seeing people wave at us and aiming goodies towards the kids we see.”
“I look forward to the parade every year. It’s my favorite Fourth of July tradition. It’s lots of fun to watch and I love being a part of it.”
I myself was fortunate enough to enjoy the parade from the sidelines. While the highlight for me was always seeing our float as it went by with all the little members of our family full of big smiles, it was also fun to watch all the other participants. Many groups and families from the area go all out with costumes, themes, and their own personal spin on their parade entry. My personal favorite was the year one group dressed up as a box of Old Orchard Beach Pier French Fries.
There are many wonderful Fourth of July events throughout the state, but if you find yourself near Ocean Park this year, I highly recommend making time for the parade. It’s usually in the morning leaving plenty of time to check out some of the other great holiday activities in southern Maine.
|things to know|
|Date & Time||July 4th | Usually 10:00-10:30 Start Time|
|Location||14 Temple Ave, Ocean Park, ME 04063|
|Ocean Park Association||Independence Day festivities|
|Favorite ♥||Theme Floats|
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2016. I will be posting new content every day except Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Life in Maine, and each post will in some way relate to Maine. There are over 1500 other bloggers participating in the challenge. Click HERE to learn more.