4th of July Parade: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it too late to sign-up?

A: NO!  You can still sign up at: http://www.benhempto.org/4thofjuly.

Q: What if I'm not sure of my 4th of July plans yet?

A: Not a problem.  While the sign-up sheet helps us from a planning perspective, as long as you arrive before the float starts moving, you can make your decision at the last minute.

Q: What if I can't be in the parade, but I will be watching the parade?

A: You can still participate!  We need people to take pictures of the float in the parade.  We also would appreciate your cheers from the sidelines :)  If anyone takes pictures of the Ben-Hem float in the parade, please email them to 4thofjuly@benhempto.org so that we can share them with everyone.

Q: Where does the parade start from?

A: The parade leaves from the Stop & Stop parking lot.

Q: How will I be able to find the Ben-Hem float?

A: We have been assigned to Unit 4.  If you mention this to the parade staff, they can point you in the right direction.  There are 5 Units in total in the parade so that means we should be near the back.

Q: When do I need to arrive?

A: The parade starts at 9:00 am, however the road (Rte. 27, Main Street) closes at 8:30 am. 

Q: Where should I park?

A: It is recommended by the friends of the 4th that you park downtown, behind the library or St. Patrick's church, and take the provided shuttles to the Stop & Shop parking lot (parade start).  This way you have your car at the end of the parade route.  You could also park at Wilson or Ben-Hem and walk over to the Stop & Shop if you would like to arrive a little later.  More information can be found on the Friends of the 4th website: http://www.natick4th.org/

Q: Can we watch the parade before an/or after the Ben-Hem float?

A: Yes.  The recommendation is that you watch the beginning of the parade from the road/bridge in front of the Stop & Shop.  Just make sure you make your way to the Ben-Hem float before it starts moving.  Once our float reaches the end of the parade, you can get off and watch the rest of the parade from downtown.  NOTE:  Once the float starts moving, no one will be allowed to get on or off.

Q: What should I bring?

A: It is recommended that you bring sunscreen, a hat, a towel (to sit on), a snack, and water.  We will have some bottled water available on the float, but depending on the weather, it wouldn't hurt to bring your own bottle to ensure you are well hydrated.

Q: Will there be anything for the kids to do on the float?

A: Yes!  We will have a bubble machine, flags and flowers for the kids to wave, and songs/cheers for the kids to join in on as we make our way down the parade route.

Q: Will Benny the Bobcat be there?

A: Absolutely!  Benny the Bobcat will be riding on the float along side the kids.  If your kid is scared of Benny (which some kids are), we can position them on the opposite end of the float, or they can walk/ride behind the float.

Q: Can kids ride their bikes/scooters behind the float?

A: Sort of.  Kids are not allowed to ride bikes.  As the float will be starting and stopping frequently, we do not want to run the risk that someone runs into the float.  Kids can walk behind the float with their parents, or can ride a scooter.  Please be sure that if your child is bringing a scooter that they have the necessary protective gear (helmet).

Q: What if my kid(s) have allergies?

A: The float does incorporate a lot of latex balloons and hay.  If your child has allergies to either, they can still participate and walk/ride behind the float, but they may not want to ride on the float.

Q: Where can I find out more information about the parade?

A: Please visit the PTO 4th of July page (http://www.benhempto.org/4thofjuly) or the Natick Friends of the 4th website (http://www.natick4th.org/).

Q: What if I still have questions?

A: You can email Krissy at 4thofjuly@benhempto.org.