SHREWSBURY – Residents were all smiles this weekend as the Spirit of Shrewsbury returned in full swing this year.
Last year, the fall festival was held in a hybrid format. But this year, activities, including the parade, returned to being held in-person.
Activities kicked off on Saturday with Shrewsbury’s Got Talent, the expo and craft fair at Oak Middle School, a kids costume parade and dog show.
Among the array of vendors at the expo was Public Health Prevention Specialist of the Worcester Division of Public Health Cherry Tangri who said she and her colleagues attended to inform residents of the services they provide.
“It’s [Spirit of Shrewsbury] a great event. It is unfortunate that because of COVID, it could not happen, but we are really excited that this event is up and running again,” she said.
Around the corner from the Worcester Division of Public Health booth, Shrewsbury resident Michelle Boulay and a friend were chatting about the festival.
Boulay, who has been attending the Spirit of Shrewsbury since it began, said she loves fall festivals and attends them “any chance” she can.
She said her favorite vendor at the town expo is Cutco, which sells and sharpens knives.
“It [Cutco knives] is a really great product. We have a ton of them,” Boulay said.
Among the volunteers helping out at Spirit of Shrewsbury was Rose Ann Longo, who said she was “drafted” by her sister and President Maria Smith.
“I don’t have much time to scope out the booths, but I love the one that sells dog treats and bandanas. You have to check them out. There’s [also] a black lab [at the booth] and he is so cute. I met him here last year, too,” she said.
The India Society of Worcester hosted a booth stocked with fliers on how to get involved with the association.
Carolyn Passey, who started the India Society of Worcester Cultural and Language School, said the town expo was a “very good turnout” this year.
She added, “I am very happy to be here and represent India Society. We’ve been coming here since they started the festival.”
On Sunday, residents set up lawn chairs along Maple Avenue to watch the Spirit of Shrewsbury parade and its grand marshals Fran and Judy Polito.
Parade attendee Jeanine Laporardo cheered on the floats with her family.
“We came because it is a tradition. We are really glad they have it this year, because they did not have it last year,” Laporardo said.