Since moving to Marblehead in May 2008, I’ve made it a point to head down to Pleasant Street every July 4th at 10am for the Marblehead Horribles Parade. We didn’t know what to expect that first year but, once the candy started flying, my kids were hooked. Between that and the parade of kids dressed up in one of three categories – Current Events, Historical or Original (that covers just about everything) – the parade has become a perfect way to celebrate the Fourth. This is one of the many Marblehead Traditions that make this coastal New England town so special.
A Parade of Horribles
The origin of the Horribles Parade dates back to the mid-19th century as a way for local to get dressed up in silly costumes and poke fun at those in power. The original target of early parades was the “Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, with ‘the ancients and honorables’ transmogrified into ‘the antiques and horribles.” While the parade of horribles seems to have originated in Lowell, MA in 1851, the tradition soon spread throughout New England.