News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, July 12, 2012
Dreary weather fails to dampen a fun Island Fourth

Grand Marshal Mary Cousins

Grand Marshal Mary Cousins, 103, reminds spectators that she’s “Older than the Opera House.”

Photo by Jessica Brophy Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Jessica Brophy

A day that started with decent weather deteriorated into sprinkles and overcast skies, ending with a thick fog which postponed Independence Day fireworks to July 5.

Despite the less-than-desirable weather, the day was not a bust. Pat Gross, executive director of the Island Community Center, said the Stonington Six 10K and Fun Run had “more runners than ever before.” The numbers of walkers were down, she said.

The parade, which had a theme of “100 years” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Opera House building in Stonington, brought hundreds of people to Deer Isle Village. The parade was dedicated in memory of Bob Haskell, who led the town band for many years. This year, Tom Gotwals led the town band.

Mary Cousins was grand marshal, riding through the town with a cheeky sign that read “I’m older than the Opera House!” Cousins is 103.

Suzy Shepard served as master of ceremonies, announcing each float, walker and antique car. Responses to the theme celebrated 100 years in a number of ways, including floats commemorating events like the sinking of the Titanic, the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, 100 years of Oreos and glimpses of the way life used to be. These included classic popcorn and a good, ole-fashioned two-seater featuring the parade’s favorite creative sisters—Norma Morey and Sandra Seile.

The parade went quite well, according to Kelly Kolysher of the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce. The pier events “went as well as they could in the weather,” she said.

Showers did dampen activities planned for the pier, including the cancellation of live music by Hank Whitsett and friends. A few vendors and local organizations set up shop for the evening. Kolysher said the vendors were there thanks to the efforts of the Town of Stonington, and that next year there will be more vendors. “I hope the weather will be in sync,” said Kolysher, who noted it would be great to have a year where the fireworks went off on the Fourth itself.

The fireworks were postponed until Thursday night, when clear skies and a cool breeze offered a backdrop for fireworks, accompanied by several displays of amateur fireworks.

Click here to see a slideshow of photos from the parade.

Grand Marshal Mary Cousins

Grand Marshal Mary Cousins, 103, reminds spectators that she’s “Older than the Opera House.”

Photo by Jessica Brophy
The color guard at the head of the parade

The color guard at the head of the parade.

Photo by Jessica Brophy