Christmas parade draws crowds to Cambridge

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan Students from the Eastern Shore Dance Academy leapt during their performance down Race Street.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Students from the Eastern Shore Dance Academy leapt during their performance down Race Street.

CAMBRIDGE – “A Merry Christmas to you all!” the child on a float shouted to the crowd.

That pretty much sums it up – joy and energy were in plentiful supply Saturday evening, at the Cambridge-Dorchester Christmas Parade. But this one marked a special anniversary for the event.

“That’s right, folks – it’s that time of year, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” a statement on the parade committee’s website says. “This year, we celebrate our 70th Anniversary.”

It didn’t happen without a lot of planning and plain hard work, though. Bruce and Amanda McWilliams were among the leaders of the project, and spoke around 4:30 about missed sleep, cloudy skies that seemed ready to cooperate by withholding their rain.

But the show must go on. With a grin and a tired laugh, Mr. McWilliams said, “It’s all good.”

And so it was.

The celebration began in late afternoon, with the Cambridge-South Dorchester High School Choir singing carols near the judges’ stage on Race Street. Then at 4:45 p.m., one of the city’s newer customs was continued, the official lighting of the crab basket tree.

Then about 5 p.m., the big show started, as the 90 entries got under way. They moved down the cobblestones of High Street, then to Poplar and Race, with crowds of families lining the curbs.

Many entries competed for trophies. Winners were:

High School Band 1st: Mardela Middle & High – 96.5 Pts
High School Band 2nd: North Dorchester High – 88.3 Pts
High School Band 3rd: Cambridge South Dorchester High – 74.6 Pts
Middle School Band 1st: Maple Elm. – 87.2 Pts.
Middle School Band 2nd: Maces Lane – 77.4 Pts.
Middle School Band 3rd – North Dorchester 74.0 Pts.
Individual Band Awards – High Point
Best Drum Major: North Dorchester
Best Band Front: Mardela Middle & High
Best Percussion: Mardela Middle & High
Best Overall: Mardela Middle & High

Division winners
Commercial Float – Judged: Choptank Animal Hospital
Non Commercial Adult Float: Horn Point Labs
Non Commercial Youth Float: Cambridge Little League
Equestrian Unit: Spicer Hill Farms
Marching Unit on Foot: Destructive Black Diamonds
Fire Department: Hooper’s Island
Antique Auto 1900-1948: Tri Gas & Oil
Classic Auto 1949-1989: Eugene Nalley
School Sponsored Club: CSD Cross Country

Judges’ Choice
Habitat for Humanity

Officers and administrators of the parade committee were: Chairman Bruce McWilliams, Treasurer Margaret Henry, IT, Legal, Webmaster, Fundraising and General Public Relations Amanda McWilliams. Additional members of the Planning & Support Committee were Linda Horsman, Frank Horsman, Kim Maxwell Ewell, and Dennis and Kathy Katulis.

“Thanks to everyone who participated in the parade and continued thanks to our donors who make it all possible,” the website says.

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