Retiring Lt. Heath to lead RR parade as Grand Marshal

  • Girardi Distributors of Athol marchers hold the banner during the 2015 River Rat parade. Girardi's, celebrating 78 years, sponsored the very first River Rat Race 55 years ago and has since been its main sponsor, upholding an annual tradition that started as a barroom bet between a few friends. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/DEBORRAH PORTER

Athol Daily News Staff
Published: 4/12/2018 10:51:15 PM
Modified: 4/13/2018 9:19:15 AM

ATHOL — The North Quabbin Chamber & Visitors Bureau, Athol Fire Department and Athol and Orange Lions Clubs have released the lineup for this year’s River Rat Parade.

The parade includes seven divisions, 102 vehicles and more than 750 marchers. This year’s Grand Marshall is Athol Police Lt. Kevin Heath, who has led the parade in a cruiser for many years and is retiring this year, making him a fitting choice to ride instead of drive, according to organizers. Everyone in the River Rat family thank him for his distinguished service and wish him well, they said.

The weather forecast for Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Taunton, is partly sunny, mild and 65 degrees.

The promenade will begin on School Street and turn left onto Main and finish at the Lord Pond Plaza near the carnival. Organizers and participants said they are looking forward to a big turnout as the weekend’s River Rat Race celebrations begin and continue through Sunday.

Late entries are welcome and should proceed to the Riverbend School for placement on Saturday. Participants are asked to arrive at their division locations starting at 8:15 a.m. School Street will be closed at 8 a.m. to regular traffic. Marchers may be dropped off at the CCD center or on the Congress Street side of Riverbend School. The parade will step off at approximately 9:30 a.m., immediately following the runners of the Big Cheese 5k road race.

Division 1

Marchers line up at Our Lady Immaculate Church

Athol Police Cruiser

Pequoig Detachment 1168 of the Marine Corp League Colorguard

Salvadore Automotive Group w/Grand Marshall Lt. Kevin Heath

Rep. Susannah Whipps, Sen. Anne Gobi

Athol Board of Selectmen & Town Manager Shaun Suhoski

Athol Royalston Education Fund

Athol Royalston School Committee

Athol High School Marching Band

Girardi Distributors

Division 2

Marchers line up behind Division 1

Athol Daily News


Adams Animal Hospital

Integrated Vegetation Services

Orange Graphix

Nutter Racing

Athol Credit Union

Athol Lions Club

YMCA Camp Wiyaka and Youth Sports

Division 3

Marchers line up on School Street at Riverbend Street

Orange Community Band

North Quabbin Community Coalition and Recovery Center

Girl Scouts-North Quabbin Service Unit 122

Subway of Athol

Athol Mahar Youth Sports

Bear Country 95.3

Athol Orange Baptist Church

110 Grill Athol

Cubscouts Pack 40 Orange

Liberty Greys-7th Tennessee Co. D, Harris Rifles

Division 4

Marchers line up on Park Avenue between School and Allen streets

Phillipston Animal Control

Millers River Watershed Council

Orange and Athol Farmers Markets

Roland Woodbury 1946 Ford Falcon

Petersham Frontier Girls Troop 448

Shoefly Graphics

Orange Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM

Division 5

Marchers line up on Allen Street between Park Avenue and into Riverbend School parking area

Athol-Orange Eagles Riders

Rolling Thunder Vermont Chapter

Boiler Bar and Grill

Division 5 continued

Doe Valley Farm Model A Ford

*All late entries

Division 6

Marchers line up on School Street from Park Avenue toward Main Street

Wright’s Welding Race Team

Bill Kessler 1941 Packard with Cpt. Bill Purple

Massachusetts Military History Expo

Dale’s Auto Body & Towing

A&E Property Maintenance

North Central Mass Trash

Division 7

Marchers line up behind Division 6

Athol Fire

Orange Fire

New Salem Fire

Petersham Fire

Royalston Fire

Warwick Fire

Petersham Police Cruiser

The parade is sponsored in part by Workers’ Credit Union.

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