Welcome to Walt and Ali's Realty Zone, a weekly blog by Walt Fitzgerald and Alison Ludwig. Walt and Ali are local realtors with ERA Key Realty Services. Their office is located in Chelmsford Center, next to the Old Town Hall and the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.
One of the things I love about this town is the small town feel it has, despite having a population of over 33,000 people! A great example of this can be seen on the 4th of July. Chelmsford’s bustling center is closed down to traffic and people come from all over to celebrate the birth of our Nation. This is event is right around the corner and if you haven’t attended the festivities before, make sure you put it on the calendar this year!
Chelmsford’s tradition is to hold a Town Fair, hosted by the Lions club, on the Common the evening before and the morning of the parade. It is open on July 3rd from 5-10pm and on July 4th from 8am-3pm. Booths are set up on Westford Street, with the vendors selling various types of food, wares and game tables. You are sure to recognize many of the participants in this fair as many of the vendors are local non-profit groups, like the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scout groups from our town. One of my children’s favorites that seems to make an appearance every year is Pack 107’s “Harry Potty’s Bean Bag toss”. The Garrison House usually has a table and last year I went home with a fantastic blueberry pie!
The next morning the John Carson road race starts bright and early in Drum Hill, at 9:30am. The road race is sponsored by Sullivan Farms Ice Cream and is a favorite event. My father and brother ran this race for years; now my sons have joined them in this tradition. It is a 2 mile race and it is a good idea to pre-register. If there are numbers left, it is possible to register the day of the race, but they have been known to run out! The money raised by this event goes to the John Carson Scholarship Fund, the Tom Chambers Scholarship Fund and the Chelmsford Recreation Department. It is a fun community event. Anyone remember the year that the couch was in the race? I wish I would have gotten a picture of that! Furniture is no longer allowed, nor are rollerblades, skateboards or bikes, although you will see plenty of baby carriages!
The morning is topped off by the parade, which kicks off at 10am from McCarthy and heads down North Road to Summer Street. You can tell the excitement the parade generates in the people in this town- a few days before the event, chairs start lining the sides of North Road where families mark their favorite spots in anticipation of this much loved event. I’m not sure how or when that tradition started, but it has gone on for as long as I remember. This year marks the 45th year that Chelmsford has hosted a parade, which is sponsored by the Chelmsford Business Association. Many groups spend a great deal of time preparing floats for the event. Scout groups have built volcanoes, Chinese dragons and star wars exhibits. There are great bands, revolutionary re-enactment groups, clowns and twirlers to name a few.
Some of the other things you wouldn’t want to miss are:
- The Chelmsford Art Show-sponsored by the Chelmsford Art Society-at All Saints Episcopal Church. Open 7/3 from 6pm-10pm and 7/4 8:30am-1pm.
- The Band Concert- featuring the Chelmsford Community Band- on the common 7/3 from 7-9pm
- The Kiddie Train Ride- near the Fire Station- from 6-8pm on 7/3
- Flag Raising- if you are up bright and early on the 4th, join our Police and Fire Honor Guards as they raise our flag at 8:30am
Walt and I will be out front of our office again this year, so feel free to stop by and say “hello”! We decided that we are going to raffle off something each year and give the proceeds to a local non-profit group. This year we will be raffling an ipad 3! All the proceeds will be donated to a local Girl Scout Troop. If you are interested in the raffle, but won’t be here for the festivities, stop by or drop me an email at email@example.com. If you have ideas for next year’s raffle or a Chelmsford non-profit, let us know!
For a more complete list of the activities for the 3rd or 4th of July, go to the Town website www.townofchelmsford.us.
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