Sat 4 Jul 2015
Every July, the community of Woods Hole happily anticipates one unique event. There is nothing else quite like it on Cape Cod, or probably in the whole country. The annual Fourth of July parade organized by the MBL Club is a festive celebration of all things Woods Hole, from the MBL itself to sea life, science, and all things random. It is a quirky parade that proudly takes over Water street beginning at 12 noon every July 4th. It draws a large audience in this tiny town, from locals to summertime regulars to unsuspecting tourists just looking for a cup of coffee. Leading the parade was this year’s grand marshal, Jack Gilbert, an associate professor from the University of Chicago. As a band played enthusiastically behind him, Gilbert lead the miscellaneous yet passionate crew down the road.
Several memorable participants from the MBL included Grass Foundation fellows and faculty, wearing their grass skirts and hats while carrying signs with phrases such as “Lower Animal Rights Now.” The crew from the Marine Resources Department were preceded by manager Dave Remsen, riding his handmade horseshoe crab creation that he assembled by attaching cardboard to his bicycle. Another clever use of cardboard came in the form of a model of the Gemma, an MBL collecting boat, that was carried by members of the Biology of Parasitism summer course. Other 2015 MBL Advanced Research courses were represented, including the Embryology course and the Neural Systems and Behavior course, which entailed costumes and props to act out various scientific functions and processes. The Biology of Parasitism course also dressed as a few of their research organisms, while the Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics, and Survival (SPINES) course dressed as pirates. Spectators could clearly see how much fun those walking in the parade had, though it was not always clear to the onlookers what some participants represented.
More notable characters included “Lobster Claus” (envision a Santa Claus-lobster hybrid), the Woods Hole folk dancers showcasing their moves, several dogs sporting patriotic bandanas, and some homemade jelly fish assembled by young girls holding decorated umbrellas. A rainbow banner announced the marriage equality group who were celebrating the recent groundbreaking Supreme Court decision by holding hands and singing the Dixie Cups’ hit song “Chapel of Love” joyfully.
Spectators and participants alike enjoyed some refreshing watermelon outside the MBL club to wrap up the festivities. The MBL Club’s annual Fourth of July Parade is a truly one-of-a-kind event that showcases what a special place Woods Hole is, year after year.