The Quissett Fourth of July Parade
“Quissett and Woods Hole, we love our Fourth of July Parades” wrote Jean Bigelow in the summer 2002 issue of Spritsail and for seven decades, this statement has held true at Quissett Harbor. A procession, which often is attended by hundreds of people, features patriotic floats (including a red, white & blue dragon!), creative costumes, antique cars, (up until recent years) the old fire engine from the Woods Hole firehouse and even a fife and drum band. Part of the tradition includes the firing of multiple cannons and morning and evening colors ceremonies.
From  Glorious Good Times. The First Hundred Years of the Quissett Yacht Club.  2013.   (edited by Prosser Gifford, Nina Hocker, Stephen Chalmers)
“In 1947, at the wedding of Clint Jones Jr.'s daughter Moll to Herb Willett, someone suggested that Quissett needed a Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. Clint and his wife Peggy were appointed by acclamation. Clint noted that the appointment had cost him 20 cases of Champagne. After some years they were succeeded by Freelon and Frances Morris, then Bill and Betsey Shultz and …Clint’s son and daughter-in-law, Dick and Megan Jones.

The morning of the Fourth of July, 1948, the Jones family and friends were sitting around on their front lawn when the idea of a parade came up, which is why the parade started and ended at the Jones house on Quissett Avenue. 
Quissett Mayor & Mayoress, Clint & Peggy Jones in 1950 along with future Mayor, Freelon Morris
"A parade was no sooner mentioned than done. About 20 people, dressed up in the contents of the Jones attic or wearing paper hats folded by Peggy, marched to the Harbor House, to the great astonishment of the guests. Original marchers Peggy, Clint, Megan and Dick Jones, Shang Goodwin and Freelon Morris Jr. participated in the parade for years, some for decades. Over the years the parade grew in size and popularity and now draws as many participants as spectators. Three generations of a family often march together.
“The parade gets underway at 11 a.m. Quissett Standard Time (QST is whenever it happens). Since the closing of the hotel in 1975 it has assembled in the Harbor House driveway, with the Mayor directing the order of the march. The annual tableau “Spirit of ‘76” leads off with fife and drum, followed by the Quissett banner, usually carried by the commodore and the land trust president, or their designees.
Spirit of '76 leads the 2003 Quissett Fourth of July Parade
Kent Swift III, flag; Robbie Shaver, drum: and Freelon Morris Jr., fife
Megan and Dick Jones in the early nineties
Parade favorites include the Jones, Armstrong and Evans/Hunt families presenting a humorous and politically relevant statement. Children ride decorated bicycles, sail class dreams up a float, sometimes a piper plays, old cars creep around carefully as the parade proceeds around the harbor up the hill to reverse direction and head back down to the Harbor."
Created in 1969, the 140' dragon doubled the length of the parade that year,
sparking a growth that has continued to this day.
The Quissett Volunteer Fire Department in 1977 with its 1927 Ahrens-Fox pumper
that had formerly been stationed in Woods Hole
Mayor Dick Jones addressing the crowd in 1976. This photo of Harbor House in the background is significant in that it is the last year it stood as a unit before being dismantled.
J. Randall Evans (below right) became the current Quissett Mayor in 2015 when Dick Jones (below left) retired and passed his responsibilities along with a large key made of cardboard and tin foil. Lynn Evans is the Mayoress. 
Unfortunately, the traditional parade was canceled this year.  Colors are raised at the Boatyard dock at 8 am, and struck at 8 pm, also at the Boatyard. Visitors are discouraged so the event will be video-recorded and posted online for home viewing.
Click on the video below, courtesy of Cape Cod Wave Magazine , to virtually attend the 2016 Quissett parade
Thanks to the Quissett Yacht Club, Ken Morse, Ali Rodin and Randy Evans for their assistance and permissions.
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Woods Hole Historical Museum
579 Woods Hole Road (P.O. Box 185)
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone: 508-548-7270