The 34th annual Keene Independence Day Parade will be 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 4. The parade theme is “Happy Birthday, America.” The Grand Marshal is new Keene City Manager Brent Batla. The Parade Marshal is the crew that installs the U.S. flags along Old Betsy Road on 14 federal holidays throughout the year.

The parade begins at the Southwestern Adventist University gymnasium parking lot at the corner of Old Betsy Road and Magnolia Street. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. Staging begins as soon as participants are registered. Judging will begin at 8 a.m. Registration fee is $10 per entry with proceeds supporting the U.S. flags that are displayed along Old Betsy Road during holidays.

Parade route

The parade starts at the Leiske-Pultar parking lot and goes west on Magnolia to Old Betsy Road, south on Old Betsy to Hillcrest, east on Hillcrest to Mockingbird, south on Mockingbird to Fourth, west on Fourth to Old Betsy, and north on Old Betsy back to the Leiske-Pultar parking lot.

Parade participants distributing candy or other goodies must do so only by people walking along the solid white lines on Old Betsy Road on the northbound portion only. Candies or other edibles cannot be thrown from a float or any other parade entry.

Judging of entries 

Parade entries must be registered by 7:30 a.m. to be judged. First place awards will be awarded in four youth categories and seven adult categories that are judged to be the best. The youth categories are: animal non-equestrian, animal equestrian, all-terrain vehicle and two-wheel vehicle.

The adult categories are: business, antique vehicle, all terrain vehicle, two-wheel vehicle, animal non-equestrian, animal equestrian, and overall.

Planning committees

The parade is organized by the Keene Chamber of Commerce board of directors: Cheryl Schram, president; Jonathan Seitz, Vice President; Bill Guinn, treasurer; Cody Stone, secretary, and directors Rosy Arizaga, Danielle Elliott, Dale Hannah, Jeff Pannell, and Gilbert Perez.