Guest Author - Lynn Newcomb Gaziano
As I stood under the huge flag that waved proudly in the breeze above the Americaís Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration in Plymouth Massachusetts, I had tears welling up in my eyes several times. The show being put on at the bandstand in front of me was moving, inspiring and certainly entertaining. The music was a driving force of enthusiasm with songs like; I got a feeling, a jazzy version of America the beautiful, Donít stop believing, Do you believe in love, and Proud to be an American. It was truly a moving event. Our country needs more of this.
This paradeís steadily building surge of American pride was its crown and glory. I havenít been feeling much pride in our country lately. Itís hard to feel good about ourselves when our mediaís daily focus is aimed at whatever the worst news of the day is and most of what is seen fit to plop onto our tables is the bad, the evil and the ugly. But on this day, at the beginning of the parade festivities, all of that faded away as I stood below that glorious flag with tears in my eyes and love in my heart for all of America. I felt such deep pride to be an American as I stood for the national anthem, that it was nearly overwhelming.
The parade was excellent and greatly enhanced because our service men and women were frequently acknowledged, praised and thanked. It was a wonderful tribute to them and to us as a country and a people united. At one point, during a wonderfully sung rendition of A Hero for Today, an Air Force C-5 Cargo plane flew slow and low over the crowd and the explosion of screaming and cheering was so loud that Iíll bet that pilot heard it even above the roar of his engines.
There were many marching bands of every flavor and variety, many groups mounted on gorgeous horses, Clydesdales pulling wagons, an eagle float by the Boy scouts, a float by the Wampanoag tribe, a tribute float to the veterans of the Korean War, Large balloons of a pilgrimís head, vegetables, a big turkey float and even cannons firing in the distance. The parade was more than 2.5 hours long and even at the very end, the crowd was still cheering with enthusiasm as the show traveled on down the street below that grand old American flag that waved so proudly above it all.
The downtown waterfront district of Plymouth Massachusetts is a touristís dream come true. There are many fine hotels and historic inns, some with waterfront views, and enough fine dining to satisfy a variety of different appetites. Seafood of course is the specialty of many restaurants here as it is caught locally.
Parking is a breeze with many metered spaces all along the two main streets that run parallel to the sea and there are numerous parking lots available in every direction. I like to park in the lot for a shopping area called The Village Landing. Itís convenient and free to park there and an easy walk to the waterfront. The real reason that I like this location though, is because it has a clean public restroom, a Peaceful Meadows ice cream shop AND the best darn fudge shop IN THE WORLD by the name of Fedeleís Chocolates. Yep, the Village Landing is my version of heaven on earth and I park there every chance I get.
Park it and forget it. The crime rate is very low here so unless you actually bait a criminal by leaving a big shiny GPS still mounted on your dashboard, you arenít likely to have any trouble at Plymouthís waterfront.
The number of great places that you can walk to in Plymouth is staggering. There are clothing shops, trinkets, fooderies, bars, restaurants, shops and shops and more shops.
If you are coming in November, try to catch the Plymouth Thanksgiving Parade as it is one of the best parades in the whole country no matter what the occasion. It is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
In August, my girlfriends and I have an annual tradition of catching the Plymouth Waterfront Festival. They close off the street parallel to the waterfront (this is where Plymouth Rock is located) and set up booth after booth of inexpensive jewelry and house wares. We spend hours perusing the booths for goodies, trying everything on and getting each otherís opinions on what it is that we just canít live without. Itís a great girlís day out and we all look forward to it every year.
Plymouth has so many worthwhile attractions that it would be impossible to list them all in just one article. If I had to choose just one, it would be the Plymouth Plantation. Well worth the trip all by itself. The Plantation is not located at the waterfront though, youíll have to head a few miles East along route 3A to get there.
If youíve heard a lot of hype about Plymouth and wondered if it was all true, then look no further. As a life long local resident, I can assure you that this is an amazing place. You will treasure the memory of your journey to Americaís hometown for a lifetime.
Here is a beautiful slideshow presentation of the parade. It is high quality and will take a minute to load into your buffer but I think it is worth the wait.
Plymouth Parade Slideshow
If you like the slideshow, please let me know here at the New England Travel Forum or more privately here at the New England Travel Contact page.