The 4th of July is on a Thursday this year. Why tackle that holiday traffic for the day when there is so much to do and many ways to celebrate right here in Norwood! For years, the Town has joined in rejoicing the country’s independence, and according to Assistant Town Manager Bernie Cooper’s office, ‘Norwood has continuously sponsored its traditional 4th of July celebration dating back to the establishment of the town in 1872.’ That ritual has grown into what is known as one of the most spectacular celebrations in the state!
For those new to this wonderful town, take the lead from those who know; the Norwood 4th of July celebrations are not to be missed! Barbeques and family gatherings are scheduled around the many festivities planned throughout Norwood so that not a moment will be missed. The events are launched with a children's character and bicycle line up in early afternoon and finishes with the most spectacular parade in the area!
The main attractions on Thursday, July 4th begin at 1 p.m., with the charming Children's Bicycle, Tricycle, Doll Carriage and Historic Character Parade. Norwood’s younger residents stretch their imaginations with their own parade of festively decorated bikes, carriages and period costumes. The event begins at the First Congregational Church at Walpole and Winter Sts., and continues down Washington St., through Norwood Center, to the Town Common where awards and refreshments are served. The entry fee is $1, and every child receives a t-shirt and ribbon, and the winners are invited to ride in the main parade float!
Also, from 1-3 p.m., there are tours of the historic Old Parish Cemetery, conducted by the Old Parish Preservation volunteers.
At 3 p.m., pack up barbeque leftovers for an old fashioned picnic on the Town Common to soak in the soothing chimes for an Independence Day Carillon Concert. Norwood's carillon is a local gem as one of only nine carillons in Massachusetts and the seventh largest in the United States. Norwood's own Lee B. Leach will co-perform with Margaret Angelini, from Wellesley College.
The vibe on the Town Common shifts gears towards athletics at 5 p.m. as runners line up for the Norwood Firecracker 5k Road Race. The streets are already lined with thousands of fans and early parade spectators who eagerly cheer on these athletes of all ages to the finish line! For more information on the Firecracker 5k, contact race coordinator Jim Henry at 617-610-0084, or visit www.racewire.com.
To warm up the crowds for the main event, Norwood and surrounding municipalities lead the way at 5:30 p.m., with an impressive lineup of fire and emergency vehicles, antique and classic cars, and WWII, Korean War and other military equipment. This is always a favorite segment of the day and famous for announcing their approach with incredible sirens!
The excitement builds throughout the afternoon, and finally, at 5:45 p.m., Norwood's infamous parade begins! The lineup is filled with national and international marching bands, (including Norwood’s favored band, The Colonial Boys), entertaining acts, floats, community groups and local politicians. The route begins at the Coakley Middle School, travels down Washington St., through South Norwood, hits the center of town and ends at the Shaw's shopping plaza.
The streets are lined throughout the entire course with cheers and merriment, from that first introductory vehicle to the very last entrant. Norwood residents would agree, there is no town like Norwood and no celebration as grand as Norwood’s 4th of July celebration!
Norwood’s 4th of July Calendar
Children's Bicycle, Tricycle, Doll Carriage & Historical Character Parade
Norwood Center/Town Common
Children are invited to show off their creations in a pre-parade procession down Washington St., to the Town Common.
Historic Old Parish Cemetery Tours
480 Washington St.
Tours conducted by the Old Parish preservation volunteers.
Tilton Memorial Carillon/Town Hall
Lee B. Leach, of Norwood and Margaret Angelini, from Wellesley College, will play Norwood's infamous instrument. Tours of the carillon at 4 p.m.
Norwood Firecracker 5k Road Race
Enjoy participating or supporting this 5K race that starts just before Norwood's legendary independence parade!
Fire Truck, Antique and Military Procession
Washington St., South Norwood through Norwood Center
Fire, emergency and military vehicles and antique cars make their way down the parade route just before the celebrations begin!
4th of July Parade Spectacular
Washington St., South Norwood to the Town Common
Norwood's parade begins at the Coakley Middle School, in South Norwood, travels down Washington St., through Norwood Center and the Town Common and concludes at the Shaw's Plaza.