Marlborough prepares for an active Labor Day weekend
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Downtown Marlborough will be extraordinarily active this Labor Day weekend with nostalgic tunes, cultural delicacies, carnival amusements, candidates campaigning and careening hospital beds.
Festivities begin Thursday, Aug. 28, 7 to 9 p.m., when Dom V and the Swing Out Big Band concludes the Mayor's 2014 Summer Concert Series at Union Common. Co-hosted by the Marlborough Junior Woman's Club, this concert will feature food and ice cream trucks, and tables decorated with centerpieces by the Colonial Garden Club of Marlborough.
Returning after a hiatus of over 20 years, a carnival will take place Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug, 31, noon to 9 p.m.; and Monday, Sept. 1, 2:30 to 9 p.m.; on S. Bolton Street between Granger Boulevard and Main Street. A carnival was part of a Labor Day weekend festival from the late-1970s through early-“90s, noted Bob Kane.
“It was the brainchild of then Mayor Joseph Ferrecchia,” Kane explained. “There was a gasoline crisis and he wanted the citizens to have something to do here all weekend.”
It was held at various locations and ultimately moved to the same block as this year. Cushing Amusements will provide kiddie and thrill rides, games with prizes, and refreshments. Kane hopes the carnival will return next year with additional activities in conjunction with Marlborough Downtown Village.
Also on those dates, Sts. Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church will host the ninth annual Grecian Festival: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m., and Monday, noon to 6 p.m. John Gagas has served as co-chair since its inception.
“We'se known for our homemade food,” he declared. “Last year we served over 4,000 dinners.”
After running out of lamb shanks last year by Monday, Gagas vowed that everyone will be accommodated throughout the weekend.
“I ordered 550 pounds of lamb, 450 pounds of chicken, and 600 pounds of gyro meat and pork tenderloin,” he said.
Guests come for the food and stay for the entertainment. Dance troupes will perform Saturday at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Also, live music will be presented Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. The full menu and schedule is posted at stsanargyroi.org.
Beginning at noon Monday, the 63rd annual Marlborough Labor Day Parade will be led by the United States Navy Band Northeast, announced Parade Director Melanie Whapham.
“I saw them at the Patriots Day Parade in Lexington and I was impressed,” she noted.
Following closely behind them will be the Marlborough High School Marching Panther Band.
Politicians are scheduled to march a week before the state primary election including governor candidates Charlie Baker, Republican; Attorney General Martha Coakley, Democrat; Evan Falchuk, United Independent; and Treasurer Steve Grossman, Democrat. Other state candidates planning to march are Cambridge City Councilor Leland Chung, Democrat running for lieutenant governor; and 13th Middlesex District state Rep. Tom Conroy and Deb Goldberg, both Democrats running for treasurer.
Both sides of the aisle will be represented in the congressional 3rd District race with Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas and Republican candidate Ann Wofford. Likewise for the 4th Middlesex District state representative race between Marlborough residents Republican City Councilor Matt Elder and Democratic incumbent state Rep. Danielle Gregoire.
Also marching are 13th District state representative Democratic candidates Carmine Gentile of Sudbury and Brian LeFort of Framingham; and Democratic primary candidates in the Middlesex race between incumbent District Attorney Marian Ryan and Michael A. Sullivan.
More candidates might apply to march before Labor Day.
Parade spectators wishing to claim a prime viewing spot can arrive at 9 a.m. for the Marlborough Lions Club's annual Bed Race on Main Street. Businesses and organizations will sponsor teams of four runners pushing hospital beds to the finish line at City Hall. Proceeds go to the club's ongoing charitable endeavors.
It's unnecessary to pack a lunch because the First Church of Marlborough will host its annual Labor Day Barbecue starting at 11:30 a.m. in Union Common. The menu includes grilled chicken, barbecued pork and sausage sandwiches with coleslaw, hotdogs and fresh-squeezed lemonade.
The 1.8-mile parade route is posted at marlboroughlabordayparade.org.
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