The Winthrop Fourth of July Horribles Parade has 125 years of tradition. Peter Gobiel has been the director of the holiday event for 18 years.
According to Gobiel, the parade keeps getting bigger or should we say, more horrible each year.
The Winthrop High school director of athletics estimates that close to 2,000 people were involved in the parade last year and he expects that number to grow when the young and old and the floats assemble for the 9 a.m. start at the Town Landing and the ensuing march down Shirley Street to Coughlin Park.
Parade participants compete for best costume prizes in different categories, ranging from horrible to patriotic to the funniest.
“We get people of all ages – we have a lot of moms and dads who dress up in all different kinds of crazy things,” said Gobiel. “And the last few years we’ve had more and more floats, so we’ll get trucks and trailers that are decorated and people march down the street. It’s pretty funny. The floats are becoming more and more popular.”
Gobiel said the Winthrop Fire Department and Winthrop Police Department will be on hand to provide for a safe event. The Fire Department traditionally provides a fire truck at the end of the parade procession.
“The parade seems to be getting bigger every year,” said Gobiel who is hoping Mother Nature cooperates with a beautiful, sunny day on the nation’s 237th birthday. “We’ll be down the Landing at 8 a.m. and at 9 a.m. we march.”
Wendy Page will organize the parade participants at the Landing while Dr. Paul McGee will coordinate the individual races at Coughlin Park. State Hall of Fame track coach Pat McGee is expected to be on hand for the races.
A tug-o-war and blueberry pie-eating contest are also on the schedule at Coughlin.
At night, the town’s Fireworks Celebration will begin at approximately 9 p.m.