Island Parade Honors September Heroes
Mark Alan Lovewell
This Fourth of July parade was clearly the biggest. Last night's fireworks were vivid and colorful. And those words can also be used to describe a parade that was so large that it took nearly two hours to run its course.

Edgartown fire chief Tony Bettencourt said: "It was absolutely the largest. It was incredible."

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Across the Vineyard, Stories of the Fourth

On the day that America celebrated its independence, and that Edgartown held the big parade, another kind of parade streamed through the tiny avenues of the Camp Ground in Oak Bluffs; a tetherball tournament entertained employees of the Vineyard Yacht Club; and, by night, post-fireworks revelers flocked to Circuit avenue, sidestepping the blobs of melted ice cream left behind by toddlers before their bedtime.

It was a warm and sunny weekend, until rains came Monday afternoon; and the Vineyard took full advantage.

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Rockets Red Glare: Fourth of July Arrives
Max Hart

Signs of the times are everywhere.

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Vineyard Celebrates Fourth of July Holiday
Alexander Trowbridge

On the Fourth of July a couple of centuries back, the United States was founded on compromise, taking the good with the not so good.

It’s appropriate that today on the Vineyard, the fireworks, parades, flags and cookouts are served up along with traffic, crowds and chance of rain.

And for those involved with safety, service or transportation, it’s a day of continuous motion.

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Eastville Old Glory Flies by Tradition
Mark Alan Lovewell

On Sunday morning, a huge nine-by-17-foot United States flag will be hung at an Eastville home as part of one family’s Fourth of July tradition. The flag, which has 46 stars and is thought to be 100 years old, is known inside the Rowan family as the 1910 Battleship Flag.

A descendant of Abigail Luce Smith, Christine Smith Rowan lives year-round at 178 New York avenue with her husband Chris Rowan. They are originally from Connecticut.

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Independence Day 2010
Islanders take the ferry to that other place, America. We even voted in Nineteen-Seventy-Seven to leave the state, and maybe the nation, too — when Beacon Hill moved to remove the Island’s seat in the statehouse, thereby leaving us with less representation for the taxation states always impose. So what if our ragtag secessionist revolution failed politically; the spirit of separation remains strong. Few remember the proposed Vineyard anthem, but a few more still have the flags of our one nation, and more than a few have good stories from those heady days when freedom was on every Islander’s mind again. In our hearts we remain a place apart.

Independence Day 2010

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Small Town, Small Parade, All for Kids in Aquinnah
Tatiana Schlossberg

As police lights flashed and sirens wailed through the heavy fog that settled in over Moshup Trail, 100 children, clad head to toe in their red-white-and-blue finery, paraded down Old South Road in Aquinnah.

What started nine years ago as a group of eight children strolling on Philbin Beach has transformed into a neighborhood event every year on the Fourth of July.

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After 43 Years Stepping in Time, Grand Marshal Steps Down
Olivia Hull and Tara Keegan

“Forward, march!” he commanded for the 43rd year, and the parade began its journey down the West Tisbury Road.

All eyes in Edgartown were on Col. Fred B. (Ted) Morgan Jr., as he performed his last march as grand marshal and chief organizer of the Edgartown Fourth of July parade.

He marched upright, as always, in perfect time with the drumbeat, while spectators shouted in appreciation from the sidelines. “Let’s go, Ted!” “Alright, Ted!” “Yeah, Mr. Morgan,” they cheered.

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With Fireworks, Flare and Tradition, Island Celebrates Independence Day
Olivia Hull and Tara Keegan
At 5 p.m. sharp on Wednesday, crowds in Norwich, England, gathered to see the Olympic torch arrive at the Queen’s summer estate. Crowds in front of New England televisions watched the Red Sox play in Oakland. And in Edgartown, a downtown crowd waited anxiously for the first notes of the annual Fourth of July parade.
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