DSDI’s Thorny Lockwood was grand marshal of the Fourth of July celebration in Ridgewood, New Jersey, this year. Thorny is a descendant of signer Josiah Bartlett, and a first cousin, eight times removed, of Benjamin Franklin.
The celebration began with an address by the Ridgewood mayor, followed by a plaque presentation, a reading of the Declaration of Independence by a member of Heard’s Brigade of the New Jersey Militia, flag raising by Post 53 of the Boy Scouts, “To the Colors” trumpet fanfare played by Dan Literati, playing of “Chester”, our first national anthem, performed on fife by a member of Heard’s Brigade, and “The Star Spangled Banner” sung by Jodi DiPiazza.
A parade followed, including participation by Gov. Chris Christie, theme floats, musical performers, special guests, and many local organizations. Several thousand spectators lined the 2-mile parade route. Evening fireworks completed the festivities.
The Ridgewood Fourth of July Celebration began in 1910 when the local newspapers, the civic section of the Woman’s Club and the Ridgewood Fire Department joined forces to create a “safe and sane” holiday with an emphasis on patriotism. It has grown into one of the largest celebrations in the New York City area.
For many years the Readers of 201 Magazine have named the parade and fireworks as best in their “Best of Bergen” poll.