CLAREMONT — The 71st annual Stevens High School Alumni Parade lineup with a theme of “Vintage Advertising Slogans” is set and ready to go on Saturday, June 8th.
A proclamation was officially signed by Mayor Charlene Lovett and presented to Alumni officers at the Claremont City Council meeting on May 8th proclaiming the week of June 2nd as Stevens High School Alumni Week.
A street banner will be hung on Pleasant Street welcoming back Stevens alumni from across the country. The five-year classes are well into their class reunion plans working on their floats and anticipating gatherings with classmates to reminisce those never to be forgotten special memories from their years at Stevens High School. For some, it will be the first time they have returned to Claremont in many years and excitement is running high.
Alumni Day starts with the annual parade now in its 71st year. The following classes have registered floats: 1949 will be riding on the horse drawn wagon, 1959 will be riding in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway Tram, 1964 is highlighting old posters of different Oil advertising logos, 1969, the 50th year class float theme is “Timex Keeps on Ticking”, 1974 float “Campbell’s Soup mmm mmm Good“, 1979 float is “Toy’s R Us USA”. “Wendy’s Where’s the Beef” is the float theme the class of 1984 has picked, and 1989 has chosen “Dunkin Time to Make The Donuts” for a float theme, 1994 has chosen “How Many Licks to Reach The Center of Tootsie Pop”, 1999 float theme is “I Want my M TV”, 2004 float theme is “M&M’s Melt in Your Mouth Not In Your Hand”, 2009 float theme is “Meow Mix, and the 2014 float theme is “Legos Just Imagine,” followed by the 2019 graduating class.
Sounds like a lot of imagination has gone into these theme choices and should make for a fun parade. Even St. Mary’s is getting into the parade spirit with the classes of 1954 and 1969 participating.
Bands and marching units include Stevens High School Band, Claremont Middle School Band, Yankee Doodle Legion Band from Rensselaer, N.Y., the Colchester Continental Fife and Drum, The Boston Windjammers, Firehouse 6 Dixieland Band directed by Ed Evensen, Claremont, Catamount Pipes and Drums, The Civil War Hemlocks and The St. Andrews Pipe Band of Vermont. Back this year is the Muchachos Marching Band from the Manchester, Nashua area and the Sons of Italy Drum and Bugle Corps from Haverhill, Mass.
Other groups include The Bektash Temple Legion of Honor, Bektash Mini Kar Patrol, Cairo Mini Monsters, Sinai Joe’s Clowns, and the ever popular Leapin Lena owned by Brewster-Gould-Lee-Rollins Post 25, American Legion of Newport,and driven by Jason Avery, Newport.
Other groups include the Rotary Club Kazoo Band, Kiwanis Club, Mason’s & Demolay, the Soup Kitchen and the list goes on. Cheryl the Clown will be in Broad Street Park with her balloon art where the Farmer’s Market will be set up.
Pat, the New England Patriots Mascot and two of the New England Patriots’ cheerleaders will be joining the parade again this year and are fast becoming a class act entertaining young and old alike all along the parade route, stopping to have pictures taken and signing autographs. They are crowd pleasers. Milo the New Hampshire Motor Speedway mascot will be here and two of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway trams.
The Alumni officers will be riding in Jim Fitch’s horse drawn wagon. Jim and his team and wagon are from Cornish and have been a part of the parade for many years.
As Bev Janelle, Class of 1953, says, “If you are going to ride in the parade you need to keep smiling and keep waving. The spectators will smile and give the wave right back to you.”
The parade co-marshals, chosen by the 25-year class are Raymond Bernard and David Stockwell.
A viewing stand will be in front of the Pleasant Restaurant where Steve Smith of WCNL will be parade emcee. Seating on the viewing stand is available to Alumni’s Honorary Members.
Following the parade is the luncheon and annual Alumni meeting at the high school cafeteria. The luncheon is catered by the “Women of the Moose” and just $4..
The banquet starts at 6:30 p.m. sharp and is catered by The Country Kitchen under new ownership this year of Tonya Gibbs.The menu entree is Yankee Pot Roast. The program includes introducing the five-year classes, the member coming the furthest distance, the oldest member attending, the welcome to the newest members from the Class of 2019 by the 25-year class representative, and the response by the senior class president.
The biggest moment of the banquet is the presentation of the scholarship awards to the second, third and fourth-year college students and the graduating seniors. This year the Alumni Association is awarding 39 scholarships to the post-grad students and 35 scholarships to the seniors for a total of $106,000.
“As those of us attending the banquet watch these students come forward to receive their special award, we should be very proud of how we have worked together to build these scholarship funds to what they are today,” said Carolyn Bowles LeBlanc, ’62, Stevens Alumni Association.
“We started in 1965 awarding one $100 scholarship and are so excited in how far we have come. And that my friends, is what this Alumni Association is all about.” LeBlanc continued.
If anyone wants an alumni T-shirt for parade day, call the office at 542-8987 or The Ink Factory now carries Stevens alumni sweatshirts and T-shirts If anyone wants to ride in the parade, it is not too late. Call Dick Girard at 543-6398.
“We wish all Stevens Alumni classes a safe and happy reunion weekend. Always remember Stevens High School Alumni Association is the oldest active alumni association in the country and You Are a Part Of It. How special is that?” LeBlanc added.