Grand Parade Honored Stafford’s 300th Anniversary

Both sides of Main Street were crowded with well-wishers as The Stafford, CT 300th Anniversary Parade traveled through downtown Stafford on Saturday, September 20. 

Under the brightest of late summer skies, an hour-long parade celebrated Stafford’s Tricentennial early Saturday afternoon, September 20, as church bells chimed the “Happy Birthday” melody. Just as promised, the parade stepped off at 1;00 PM from Furnace Avenue, “meandered” Downtown (to the delight of the great turnout of people lining both sides of the street) and ended with a huge after party at the Stafford Motor Speedway. 

At the Speedway’s Fairgrounds, crowds of residents and Stafford well-wishers enjoyed live music, special performances, food and merchant vendors, a classic car show, demonstrations, exhibits and contests. A fireworks display at 8:00 PM ended the full day of festivities.

Spectators — and their dogs — started to arrive well over and hour before the 1 PM parade began.

The owners of the Palace, Marie King and Bob King (sitting far right), set up a table in front of the theater to watch the parade go by with friends Evelyn and Lisa Bacchiochi. 

Across the street from the Palace, six-year-old Raymond Newman set up a lemonade stand, assisted here by the owner of Main Street’s Artful Annie’s Gallery.

The Mikulski family waiting for the parade to turn from Furnace Street onto Main Street, l to r: Mike, Jamie, Baby Esther, and Tootie.

The Stafford High School Band strikes up a song early on the parade route.

Critters joined the staff members of Fenton River Veterinary Hospital float, one of the many floats representing Stafford businesses. 

by Laura B. Hayden

Laura B. Hayden writes for Crain’s Business Newsletter and the  She is the author of Staying Alive: A Love Story, which received a 2012 Readers Views Award and has been recommended by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals. Her most recent work is posted on her blog at

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