Main Street, Sunapee: The Parade of 1944

Main Street, Sunapee: Parade passes in front of the Old Town HallThis old photo of a parade in Sunapee captures that wonderful sense of community that re-connects people with local heritage.

Dick Leone, Sunapee, leading the goat, re-calls the day. “It was 1944. It was the annual Sunapee Grange Fair Parade held on Labor Day.”

“It was my cousin Sandra MacWilliams who had a pet goat and, at the very last minute, her mother asked me to help Sandra by handling the goat,” said Leone. In front of Leone in the parade was a “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater float.” Leone was needed to keep the goat from eating the pumpkins.

“Although, I was reluctant to get in the parade, especially with a goat, I did get the parade bug,” Leone added. “The following year, two of my cousins and I had two bicycles welded and spaced apart and had a cart hauled behind us. We called it the Potsdam Conference with cousin Burton dressed as Harry Truman, me as Prime Minister Attlee, and cousin Carroll sitting in the cart as Joseph Stalin, smoking a cigar and getting sick as all get out.”

“There was always prizes, first, second and third place ribbons given out for the parade.” Artie Osborne’s grandmother Hattie Gamsby was usually in charge of the judging said Leone. “I’ll never forget Artie’s mother Phyllis, who was assisting with judging, announced that we had won first prize.”

“The parade route went from lower village to the harbor and back” passing the Old Town Hall along the way. Back in those times, Leone said, local fairground events included a large turnout of vendors, horse pulling and other activities and were held where Micro Precision is now located at the corner of Main Street and Route 11.

Photo courtesy of the Sunapee Historical Society

3 Responses

  1. Nice shot, and good piece.

  2. Great photo! I remember both the parades and the fairs and miss that small-town involvement. Does anyone know the years of the parades and the fairs? When did they stop? I wonder if the Historical Society has a photo file.
    Thanks, Dick!

  3. Thanks for the memories Dick!. I love to hear all the stories of Sunapee. Thank you for sharing. Great picture!

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