Full Slate of Independence Festivities

The Tri-Town will be bursting with red, white, and blue starting bright and early on Thursday, July 4 and running all weekend long.

Residents will exercise their freedom to run around in the middle of the street at the Mattapoisett Road Race on July 4. Founded in 1971, the race will cover five miles – not kilometers, mind you, because this is America, after all! – along the coastline and through the village, finishing at Shipyard Park. Although preregistration has closed, aspiring participants can still sign up on July 3 until 8:00 pm at Shipyard Park and from 7:30 to 8:30 am on the day of the race.

The starting gun – or its equivalent – will go off at 9:00 am. Throughout the history of the race, the Race Committee has given over $120,000 in awards to Tri-Town students who have been involved in running. Proceeds from this year’s race will go to ORRHS senior athletes. The best spectators will be recognized for their efforts. For more information, see www.mattapoisettroadrace.com.

While the Road Race procession might move at a faster pace, Marion’s Fourth of July Parade will also start at 9:00 am on Thursday, running along Front and Spring Streets. Spectators are advised to arrive a bit earlier.

Marion will also put on its annual Horse Show on Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Washburn Park. Founded over 65 years ago, the Horse Show will feature State and Regional competitions. Local equestrians “are at the heart” of the event, according to the Horse Show organizers. The Mattapoisett Lions Club will provide the chow, but attendees may pack a picnic basket, as well. Open classes start at 9:00 am. Registration starts at 7:30 am on the morning of the show.

After residents recover on Friday, they can get right back to it on Saturday morning starting at 10:00 am at Bicentennial Park, when local artists and artisans exhibit their work – including ceramics, fibers, jewelry, paintings, prints, photographs, collages, bags, accessories, puppets, painted objects, sculpture, furniture, folk art, glass and soaps – at Arts in the Park. The festival provides live music and a food booth during the day, as well as a raffle of donated pieces. Proceeds will benefit the Marion Art Center.

Last but certainly not least, Marion is bringing back the Fireworks at Silvershell Beach after a massive fundraising effort across town erased bad memories of 2012’s shortfall. The show starts at 9:00 pm, with a rain date of Sunday, July 7. Thousands will flock to the event, which will end the Tri-Town’s Independence Day celebration in grand style.

By Shawn Badgley

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