By: Rose McDermott
To honor the 100th birthday of Attleboro, the city organized a day of celebration complete with parade and fireworks. Although officials planned a rain date, Sept. 6 was perfect.
The parade started at Hayward Field at 9:30 a.m. and continued two miles down the road to Capron Park. Throughout the park there were tents selling food and drinks alongside a Ferris wheel.
The Attleboro High School (AHS) sports teams marched in the parade along with the AHS marching band and color guard.
AHS junior Tyler Stowe said, “The parade was fantastic. It was great to see all of the people of Attleboro supporting us or even walking in the parade; it really showed how much pride we have in our city.”
Swim captain Ben Wagner said, “The weather was too hot to be walking in a large mass of people and there was a lot of noise but it was an overall enjoyable experience.”
However, for the spectators, it was enjoyable to see all the Attleboro schools represented.
2014 AHS alumni Jon Barbosa said, “It was cool to see my old school walking in the parade. It made me reminisce about when I was little.”
There were several revolutionary groups that marched in uniform and fired rifles into the air. Many of the people in attendance thought the gunshots were interesting but far too loud.
“It was fun to see them march in their uniforms but when they actually fired their weapons it was disorienting,” said AHS senior Sarah Williams.
The parade included a variety of old-fashioned cars, ranging from a Stingray Corvette to a Volkswagen van both made in 1974, along with a horse drawn carriage that used to be housed at Bliss Brothers Dairy.
Officials set up a bandstand in the middle of Capron and live entertainment played during the day. The performers ranged from a Sinatra Rat Pack group in the afternoon to the U.S. Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble at night.
In the afternoon a city official read out the history of Attleboro, starting from when the town was first incorporated to the present day. There were many people in attendance as a community photo was taken shortly after. A large mass of people gathered right before noon in the middle of Capron Park where a Sun Chronicle employee took a photo for the next day’s newspaper.
“The speeches had some interesting material but were a little dry. The lady reading facts didn’t seem very excited about them so I was bored after a while,” said AHS senior Ricky Patel.
Some of the more interesting facts included that the town of Attleborough was originally established in 1694 and included the towns of Cumberland and North Attleborough. However, in 1914, it was reincorporated as the City of Attleboro and no longer included those towns according to a city official who spoke about the town’s history. When it was reincorporated, the city dropped the “ugh” from their name.
“I was shocked to find out all of the history of Attleboro. I really didn’t know much about our city; I never expected for us to have such a long background story,” said AHS junior Laura Shedd.
By 1913, the city had made a name for itself in the jewelry manufacturing world. The Balfour Jewelry Company had a plant in Attleboro and operated largely from here. Eventually Attleboro came to be known as the “Jewelry Capital of the World.”
However, when Balfour moved to the South because of cheaper production costs, the jewelry community slowly dwindled away. Eventually, most of the factories were abandoned and Attleboro lost its title.
“It’s weird to think of Attleboro as being the capital of anything. It’s such a boring city now. I guess it’s cool that we have an interesting history though,” said AHS senior Matt Girczyc.