Will Northfield’s annual Labor Day celebration, parade keep marching on?

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 3:05 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2023 at 5:03 PM EDT
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NORTHFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - A Labor Day tradition marched through Northfield on Monday, but the future of the town’s annual parade and celebration is uncertain.

“I love watching the cadets all match by from Norwich, all their formations and their routines, I love watching that,” said Toby Wells of Northfield.

The tradition continued into its 48th year, as locals and tourists turned out in Northfield for the annual Labor Day parade. The theme this year was “hidden gems” because of the people who participated in the parade.

“They’re hidden gems; you don’t see them out tooting their own horn, but they’re gems,” Parade Announcer Dex Rowe said.

People of all different ages enjoy this parade for a variety of reasons. Fairfield resident Ryiah Gaudioso comes to Northfield to support her family.

“My cousin’s walking in with the hockey team, so getting to see him walk,” Gaudioso said.

However, there are questions about whether families will be able to continue to see their loved ones walk in the parade. Organizers say volunteer numbers have dwindled over the years and costs are up, which could mean an end to the events as we know them.

“The parade will continue one way or another,” Rowe said. “The big question is whether the three-day will continue and that’s all because of finances expenses are up and donations are down.”

While some people are fighting for the weekend-long celebrations to continue, others seem OK with having just a parade.

“I’m OK with that,” Wells said. “I think if it was one night on the town and the parade, I think it’s fine. I think stretching it out to three days, it’s good in some ways but it also dilutes the crowd so there’s not as many people there every year.”

The Northfield Labor Day Committee still hasn’t made a final call on the future of the festivities.

“The committee is going to meet after this weekend and take stock of what we have left and can we pull it off another year, and everybody is hoping yes,” Rowe said.

Officials say they hope the parade can make it to its 50th year.