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Houlton’s 4th of July People Parade

A Reverse Parade for 2020

UPDATE – ROUTE MODIFIED

Our new route skips the Market Square turn-around!  The route now will go from Water Street, across Main Street, and directly onto Court Street.  There WILL be a Community Market in Market Square on Saturday during the parade and we want to reduce traffic in Market Square.  Please help us spread the word!

The COVID19 pandemic of 2020 has impacted us in ways we could never imagine.  Our celebration in Houlton for the 4th of July is no different.  While we can’t have a traditional parade, we’ve found a way for our community to celebrate our freedom by putting THE PEOPLE behind the wheel.  For 2020, we’re turning the tables on our parade and making YOU the parade.

This 4th of July, we’re looking for residents and businesses to join in the first ever 4th of July People Parade.

Goals of 4th of July People Parade

We need a way to celebrate and, for generations, we’ve relied on our local businesses, farmers, churches and organizations to put on the parade.  This year, we’re asking that WE, THE PEOPLE celebrate our Independence Day in a unique, fun and SAFE way.  The concept is different but should be a great time.

Goals

  • Allow people to safely display their patriotic pride in a time of Pandemic
  • Prevent large gatherings of people in public places
  • Eliminate staging location
  • Help support those who cannot leave their residence
  • Celebrate our Community
  • Get Creative
  • Be SAFE

To do this, we have created a parade route that takes the participants into the community.  A route (The Indepence Loop) that covers a large section of Houlton.  This loop is long enough (6 miles) so that everyone can participate and/or experience the celebration.

What’s Different?

What’s most different about this plan is that there is NO starting or ending point.  Instead, there are at least 12 “entry” points where people can enter the celebration.  If you know anything about the game of golf, it’s very similar to a “shot-gun start”.  You join the Independence Loop wherever it’s closest or easiest for you.  Once in the loop you follow the route until you get back to where you started.  The map below shows the loop and, the best entry points, for those joining from outside the route.  Anyone living inside the loop can join anywhere convenient.

Also, different this year is there are no floats (big flatbed trucks)- cars and trucks only!  Decorate your cars and trucks, add signs, roll down your windows, play music – get creative.  This is for people, businesses, organizations, churches, law enforcement agencies, anyone who would like to celebrate.  Our Independence Loop allows for you to see other vehicles going in the opposite direction at multiple locations.  PLEASE – no walking, biking, ATVs, etc. – Cars and Trucks only!

If you decide not to join the People Parade, you can watch!  There are plenty of homes along the route!  If you have a home or business along the route, consider decorating, having a party (50 or less people) and enjoy!  We will also be streaming the People Parade LIVE online at WHOU.live, on Facebook and it will be broadcast on Pioneer Cable channel 100!

Also unique with this parade is that we will be following all road signs.  Stop at every stop sign, Stop at red lights, yield at yellow, etc.

Key Points

  • 6 mile route that has NO crossing traffic of participants
  • Participants can enter and leave the route at more than 12 locations based on their location
  • Elimination of Main St as part of the route
  • Traffic remains off North Road
  • Only one traffic light
  • All traffic signs and lights will be observed
  • Covers a large segment of Residential Houlton allowing people to stay close to home
  • Signage, video and maps to prepare participants for the route
  • People can participate with cars and trucks
  • Limited time period allows people to participate and get traffic back to normal. Recommending 10 am to 12 noon.
  • Encouraging businesses and homeowners to decorate and participate

When & Where

The People’s Parade will take place on Saturday, July 4th from 10am to 12pm

Keeping it Safe – Etiquette of the Parade

  • Don’t drive too fast
  • If you’re in the loop – allow others to join
  • If an entry point is busy – try a different one
  • Follow all road rules – You are responsible for your own driving
  • Be Polite
  • Follow the route – Know ahead of time where you’re going.  We will have signs to help
  • If you can go – go!  Don’t hold up traffic unnecessarily.
  • Allow thru-traffic (non participants) to get to where they’re going.
  • If someone gets off track, get back on the loop!
  • When you’re done – exit the loop and enjoy the rest of your 4th of July!
  • Don’t forget to watch the fireworks!!

Independence Loop

click for a larger version

Houlton's Independence Loop

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