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Parade, dance celebrate Wilbraham's 250th anniversary

Date: 6/6/2013

By Chris Maza

WILBRAHAM — Continuing its yearlong celebration of 250 years, the anniversary committee will host a parade on June 23.

Taking place from 1 to 3 p.m., the marching tribute to the town will follow a route of approximately two miles from Crane Park on Main Street to Fountain Park on Tinkham Road.

Led by the Minnechaug Regional High School band, the parade, which is being sponsored primarily through a $5,000 donation from the Wilbraham Community Association, will also feature a large Shriners contingent and a mummers group made possible by Country Bank.

"Once the parade is over, the festivities will be continued at Fountain Park, complete with entertainment and fireworks," Chuck Higgins, parade organizer, said.

While some food would be offered by vendors at the park, 250th Anniversary Committee member Patricia Diotalevi encouraged the public to pack food for what would be a picnic-style gathering.

"We're hoping to create a Tanglewood kind of atmosphere," she said.

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Old Post Road Orchestra, as well as other local musical groups, Higgins added.

Fireworks provided by Fireworks by Grucci, the same company that offered the display during the First Night celebration, will take place at approximately 9 p.m.

Vendors will be selling items on the parade route and at Fountain Park, though Diotalevi said the committee would request their inventories and certain items, such as toy guns, bang snaps and silly string not be sold. She added the committee has had a good rapport with the two vendors with which they have spoken.

Tickets are also still available for the 250th Anniversary Dinner Dance, which is slated for June 15 at Chez Josef in Agawam.

The semi-formal evening event will include cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and a 7:30 dinner with choices of filet mignon with baked stuffed shrimp, chicken Francaise, or stuffed filet of sole almondine stuffed with scallops, shrimp, crabmeat and bread.

Music for dancing will be provided by the Heritage Pops Orchestra.

Tickets are $75 and may be purchased by contacting Diotalevi at 596-6038, Virginia Barry at 596-3347, Barbara Rist at 596-9586 or Kathy Johnson at 596-6171.