By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The unofficial end-of-summer weekend concluded on a hot and humid Sept. 3 with the 67th annual Marlborough Labor Day Parade featuring an accomplished winter sport athlete. Honored as grand marshal was renowned hockey player Bobby Butler of Marlborough.
A Marlborough High School (MHS) 2005 alum, Butler led the MHS hockey team to the 2004 state championship. Since then he has played professionally with several teams including four in the National Hockey League. While playing with American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals, he was chosen to compete with the United States men’s hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Continuing a longtime tradition, the MHS Marching Panther Band was the first of several units to bring music to the 1.7-mile parade route. They’re now led by this school year’s new band director James Verdone.
The Waltham American Legion Band dedicated its performance to George Whapham, who passed away this past June. In addition to playing with the band, Whapham served as parade director spanning three decades.
Making a return appearance to the parade after a year hiatus were multiple units of the Aleppo Shriners Clowns. The parade route also served as the campaign trail for many political candidates.
Although last year’s hot weather prevented local military veterans from participating in the parade, this time they comfortably endured above-average temperatures by riding in an Old Town Trolley private charter service sponsored by state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough.
Holiday festivities began prior to the parade with the Marlborough Lions Club’s 37th annual Labor Day Bed Race on Main Street. This year’s winning team sponsored by Marlborough Wellness Center consisted of Hudson High School hockey players Jameson Felteau, Bryce Miranda, Cam O’Brien and Nicholas Werner. Proceeds help the Lions Club’s ongoing charitable causes including eyeglasses for those in need of assistance.