America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration gets under way

Kathryn Koch

With America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration and its signature parade just days away, organizers are trying to involve as many people as possible in the celebration.

WCVB Channel 5 newscasters Randy Price and Bianca de la Garza will host the free Patriotic Concert at 7 p.m. Friday night in Memorial Hall and will serve as the grand marshals of the parade Saturday. WCVB will provide coverage of the celebration. It’s Price’s fourth year as part of the celebration, his first with Channel 5.

A team of Budweiser Clydesdales will appear in Plymouth for public viewing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday, Nov. 20, before participating in the parade Saturday. The horses can bee seen in large tents in the parking lot at East Bay Grille, on Water Street. The parade steps off at 11 a.m. following the opening ceremony, which begins at 10:30 a.m. at the viewing stand on the waterfront.

The Patriotic Concert, offered in tribute to America’s veterans, features Tops in Blue, the United States Air Force’s entertainment showcase, with special guest Rob Surette, a dynamic portrait artist who uses large canvasses to create his portraits.

Tickets to Saturday night’s traditional Drum and Bugle Corps Reunion Concert, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall, are available for purchase for $28 online at or by calling Memorial Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 508-747-1622. The Memorial Hall ticket office is open from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

During and after the parade Saturday, people can fill their stomachs with chowder, soups and desserts during the New England Food Festival on the waterfront from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Historic Village, nearby, will offer a glimpse into the past with re-enactors taking lead roles. Encampments will be set up overnight.

The hours of the New England Crafter’s Village, alongside the food tent, run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The new Business Expo hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. New this year will be the Edible South Shore Harvest Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration parent organization, the Plymouth Rock Foundation, will open the parade with the traditional Pilgrim Candle Lighting at 10:30 a.m. on the waterfront.

Schedule of events

Through Friday, Nov. 20

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Budweiser Clydesdales viewing – Water Street parking lot near the CabbyShack

Friday, Nov. 20

7 p.m. – Patriotic Concert – at Memorial Hall

Saturday, Nov. 21

10:30 a.m. – Thanksgiving parade opening ceremonies, from the viewing stand on the waterfront

11 a.m. – Thanksgiving parade steps off from Hedge Road

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Quahog Republic New England Food Festival, on the waterfront

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Business Expo, on the waterfront

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday – New England Crafter’s Village, n the waterfront

6:30 p.m. Drum and Bugle Corps Reunion Concert, Memorial Hall

Sunday, Nov. 21

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Business Expo, on the waterfront

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Edible South Shore Harvest Market, on the waterfront

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – New England Crafter’s Village, on the waterfront

Schedule of parade events

Saturday, Nov. 21

10:30 a.m. – Howitzer Report

10:30 to 10:35 a.m. – Pilgrim Ceremonial Candle Lighting

10:35 to 10:40 a.m. – Welcome by Olly deMacedo, AHTC director

10:40 to 10:46 – National anthem sung by Dennis Siciliano, Plymouth Idol 2009

10:46 to 11 a.m. – 2006-2009 Plymouth Idol Reunion Performance

11 a.m. – Parade steps off

11 to 11:05 – Welcome by Richard Quintal, Board of Selectmen

11:05 to 11:30 a.m. – U. S. Air Force Tops in Blue performance of “To Dream”

11:28 a.m. – “The U.S. Air Force” song

11:29 a.m. – Begin Howitzer salute

11:30 a.m. – U.S. Air Force fighter wing flyover

11:30 a.m. – Parade arrives at viewing area