AYER -- July 4th festivities on this Saturday will provide plenty of activity nearly all afternoon, beginning with a parade at 3 p.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m. with a fireworks display.
The celebration starts at 3 p.m. with a parade from West Main Street to Pirone Park. This year's Grand Marshals are Roberta Chase, the town's former assistant tax collector, and Janet Lewis, the recently retired selectmen's secretary.
Children adn people of all ages can participate in the bike-decorating contest. Age groups are six and under, seven and eight, nine and 10, 11 and over, and a multi-wheel category for all ages.
Bikes can be in the parade but participants must line up at the Rail Trail Parking Lot by 2 p.m. Children under six must be with an adult.
Judging takes place at 4 p.m. in Pirone Park, after the parade.
Live Music and Fun
The festivities will feature a variety of bands, beginning with the Hills Mills Clown Band. Economic Development Director David Maher described them as a sort of clown Dixieland band. They will be playing in tents on the field at Pirone Park.
The Down City Show Band, from Providence, will start playing at 5 p.m. and the Nashoba Valley Concert Band will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the celebrations continue with food vendors, giant inflatables for children to jump in, unicyclists and jugglers at the park.
"We're basically building a mini Kings Dominion/Six Flags right in the middle of the field," Maher said.
The celebration concludes with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
"It's one of the largest, if not the largest fireworks displays in the area," Maher said. "It lasts nearly 40 minutes. There's not too many places you can go to see the fireworks that you can get that close to them, because we're in the middle of the field."
Traffic and Parking
Police have crafted a road detour plan, and parking downtown area will be limited.
There will be no parking from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street from Park Street to Columbia Street.
The north side of East Main Street will not allow parking, but some areas of the south side -- facing the rotary -- will be open.
Pond Street will also be closed to parking.
School Street, Prospect Street, Elm Street, Forest Street and Grove Street will become one-way roads in certain areas.
The full traffic plan is available on the town website.