America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration, The No. 1 Historical Thanksgiving Parade in America, as rated by America Online, is less than a week away. Drawing an attendance of 200,000 people, it offers a family friendly environment with much to do for adults and children of all ages.
This year, the parade will have the theme of “Land of the Free” and will have an extra special guest – Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“We are truly honored to have Dr. Alveda King headline America’s premier Thanksgiving parade this year,” said Olly deMacedo, Director of America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration. “She will ride on a float that will recreate the historic civil rights march in Washington.”
This is the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act which changed American history. It is also being recognized through our other events like the VIP reception and Hannaford Supermarkets New England Food Festival by including visual displays of photographs of important civil rights activists.
The only historically accurate chronological parade, featuring events from the 17th to the 21st century, will also give tribute to the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner written by Francis Scott Key.
“Our parade this year takes on even more historic importance with the celebration of these two milestones that have made a significant impact in our nation’s history,” said deMacedo. “It’s important to celebrate and commemorate our history in our annual parade.”
The first annual Illuminate 2014 event will take place Friday night as a new kick off of America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration and will illuminate the rich history of the holiday, reminding us of its inspirational message of peace and gratitude. The event will begin with a candle-lighting ceremony in conjunction with our sister-city, Plymouth, England, to celebrate the deep connection between the two created by the Mayflower’s voyage to Plymouth Colony, as well as other Plymouths across the United States. The event will continue with a street festival on Main and Court Streets where visitors and locals can enjoy live art and music, special offers at shops and restaurants, and more. This event is being hosted by AHTC and Plymouth 400 Inc.
There will be free historic tours of the waterfront on Friday afternoon, and then the free PIDC Patriotic concert in the evening. The concert features “ Tops in Blue”, hosted by our own Channel 5 Eye-opener team from Boston.
On Saturday morning the parade opening ceremonies begin at 10:30am on the waterfront and then at 11:00am, the much anticipated America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration Parade, a chronological visual historic story, is put together similar to the first parades of the Middle Ages.
All of the floats are unique, personally designed and hand crafted by volunteers, showcasing a standard of excellence in craftsmanship. The finished product floats by the thousands who come to view this visual history book that provides an educational experience and documents our history.
We begin by honoring Wampanoag natives and the first Pilgrim settlers, including a scale model of the Mayflower. This year our “Land Of The Free”, will feature Native Americans, Pilgrims, special commemorative floats for our highlighted events including the Civil Rights Anniversary with special guest Dr. Alveda King, Star Spangled Banner Float celebrating it’s 200th anniversary, Lighthouse to Lighthouse Float, including children from Plymouth England and Plymouth MA spanning our support across the continents and our tribute to our ForeFathers Monument. America’s Hometown Express and traditional floats that provide a historic and seasonal ambiance, like the Turkeys, Victorian carolers and Saint Nicholas.
Now in its fifth year, the America’s Hometown Express sponsored by Marty’s GMC continues to chug along, bringing tons of food and hundreds of meals to needy families as a part of America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration. A school bus transformed into a locomotive in 2010 has collected food from a crowd of over 200,000 whose bags are put in the locomotive and coal car along the parade route.
Part of the mission of America’s Hometown Express is to inspire Americans in “America’s Hometown”, as well as around the nation to have a meal on every table during the Thanksgiving Holiday and all year. Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donation for the America’s Hometown Express.
Following the parade, you can wander in the Portal to the Past, striking up conversations with historic heroes past, learning the ways of the Natives, Pilgrims, Patriots, and do some early shopping from the craft and vendors at the Crafters Village.
Visit The Hannaford Supermarkets New England Food Festival filled with the best samples from restaurants in our area. Celebrity judges and winning chefs bring their best to the tables. Attendees are guaranteed a culinary experience like no other in New England!
Saturday Night hosts our Senior Drum and Bugle Corps reunion concert at 6:30PM at Memorial Hall. This year will prove to be another great show. Tickets are going fast. To purchase tickets visit www.usathanksgiving.com
On Sunday hosts our annual Makepeace Farms Harvest Market with special vendors from the Plymouth Farmers Market. This event includes a full day of live music complimented by local farmers and food makers selling and sampling their products. Sunday also includes ongoing activities in the Crafters Village.
When the weekend is over, there is still another event to enjoy. New this year for Monday and Tuesday, November 24 and 25th is the premier of The Venture of 1620. A live performance you won’t want to miss at Memorial Hall. Performances are Monday at 7 pm and Tuesday at 12:00 and 7:00.
All in all, you will experience Americana at its best, and leave feeling grateful for “The Land of Free” this year at Thanksgiving!