By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
WESTBOROUGH – The annual Westborough July 4th Block Party is typically held as a holiday kickoff celebration on the Friday before Independence Day. After 2020’s hiatus due to pandemic restrictions, this year’s block party is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 27, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Bay State Commons.
Now, the Westborough July 4th Block Party Planning Committee is offering another reason to celebrate, noted Recreation Program Coordinator Adam Lapointe.
“This year, it’s going to take on a new meaning,” he said of the 2021 event. “There’s a lot of talk about ‘getting back to normalcy,’ and this is a step toward doing that. It will be a great celebration of bringing everyone together again, the way things were before the pandemic.”
Planning longtime holiday event
The event planning committee consists of representatives from Westborough Recreation including Lapointe and the Westborough Civic Club.
When they started planning this year’s event, the state was still enforcing pandemic restrictions for large public gatherings. Restrictions were lifted soon after the committee set Aug. 27 as their block party date.
“We decided to keep the same date,” Lapointe explained. “It gave us time to plan and make sure that everything was done at a high quality.”
Entertaining on the bandstand
Two familiar acts from past block parties will once again provide entertainment on the bandstand for audiences of all ages.
A longtime staple of the event, The Reminisants are providing live classic rock-‘n’-roll music.
“The Reminisants have been our anchor band for a long time,” Lapointe noted. “They’ve been a huge supporter of the event as well.”
While The Reminisants’ repertoire is yesteryear’s golden oldies, they appeal to music lovers of multiple generations – even young kids. The band’s lead singer, Mike Joyal of Marlborough, attributes their intergenerational appeal to songs they sing that are featured on film soundtracks.
“Oldies we perform have been in movies that kids have seen,” he said, citing examples. “The theme song for ‘Shrek’ was ‘I’m A Believer’ by The Monkees. And the theme song for ‘Ghost’ was ‘Unchained Melody’ by the Righteous Brothers.”
Also making an encore appearance on the bandstand is magician Fran Flynn. Prior to his magic show, he’ll create balloon animals at the booth of Westboro Tennis & Swim Club.
Flynn also attracts multigenerational fans.
“Sometimes the adults want balloon animals, too,” he said.
Family-friendly event highlights
A number of local businesses and community organizations will offer free activities.
Modes of transportation range from pony rides for children to horse-drawn hayrides for block party guests of all ages.
Food trucks, including Dean’s Concessions, will be stationed onsite along with ice cream from Uhlman’s and VeeBop.
Helping to extend a celebratory holiday spirit, patriotic-themed souvenirs will be available from the Westborough July 4th Block Party Planning Committee.
“This will get the community back together in a way that’s fun for the whole family,” Lapointe said. “The family-friendly feel is certainly the event’s big pull.”
Local businesses and community organizations interested in participating as event vendors can contact the recreation department at 508-366-3066 or [email protected].