JAY — Shriners in little police cars, veterans, firetrucks and politicians participated in the Jay/Livermore Falls Independence Day parade Thursday evening.

But the best part for Shari Newcomb of Jay was seeing the smile on the face of her grandson, Braydon Simmons, 3, of Jay.

Other families gathered along the route that started at Memco in Jay and ended at Ware Butler in Livermore Falls. Children smiled, waved at parade participants and covered their ears as the firetrucks went by.

The annual parade is usually held at 5 p.m. on July 3 because so many people are involved with their families on July 4, said Barbara Cook, a parade committee member.

The fireworks also are held on July 3, but this year, that changed. Thursday’s fireworks were rescheduled to July 12, Cook said.

The fire marshal will not issue permits because of high winds predicted over the weekend, Regina Cote, Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant, said in a release.


For veterans preparing to walk the route, the parade held great significance.

“It is Independence Day,” Donald Simoneau said. “No one says it. Everyone calls it July Fourth.”

For John Dube, a Vietnam veteran with a 20-year career in the Navy, dressing in his white uniform and walking the parade route is all about independence.

“It’s always good to do something patriotic,” he said. “Something we can do in America that we could not do in other places.”

Political candidates, including U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, state Sen. Emily Cain, Shenna Bellows and state Rep. Paul Gilbert, enjoyed the freedom to greet residents.

As participants lined up in the Memco lot, Max, a 14-year old horse, waited patiently to pull an Oakhurst Dairy wagon through the parade. Driven by Chuck Hussey and Phil Penney, both of Buxton, the milk wagon dated back to 1870 and was used to deliver milk until the 1930s, Hussey said.


Nate Steele, 15, a member of his cousin Tyler King’s NASCAR pit crew, waited in a small replica of King’s car used at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough.

The Jay and Livermore Falls fire departments parked their ladder trucks on Main Street to form an arch with the ladders for the parade to pass through. Jay and Livermore Falls police led the parade.

A Fourth of July Committee plans the annual parade, Cook said. They would like to start earlier next year and do some fundraising so they could add a band to the parade. Members of the committee include Lynn and Darryl Dunton, Pat Knowlton, Andre Ouellette and Cook.


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