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The Fourth of July Starts Early in Wilmington

Festivities kick off today with the first day of the carnival and several other activities.

For Fourth of July Committee members, a long and busy week kicks off today.

Wilmington celebrates Independence Day starting today, with a carnival, musical performance, horseshoe tournament and Kim Forte walk. There are a until the wrap up on Monday.

“Since its inception 31 years ago, the celebration has evolved dramatically,” said committee chairman Scott Garrant. “With five days of activities, events and fun, it has become what is widely believed to be the only celebration of its kind in Greater Boston.”

Garrant said he’s learned over the years that for children, the carnival, Family Day and fireworks are the highlight of the week. Adults, meanwhile, tend to appreciate the sense of community as much as the activities themselves.

Though committee members enjoy seeing the town soak in the events of the week, there is a great deal of work that goes into the planning.

“The committee works year-round to plan the celebration,” said Garrant. “With the exception of the month of August, we meet monthly to plan for the upcoming year’s events. As one might expect, the list of tasks that goes into planning and staging the celebration, and the town’s annual tree lighting, is a long one.”

The 14 board members rarely get to see their own family during the week of the Fourth, and their work doesn’t stop there. July 5 is spent cleaning up before members finally get the chance to rest and catch up with their loved ones.

Still, it’s a sacrifice worth making for committee members, who are thrilled to see everyone in town come together.

“The support that the Celebration receives from residents is evident as soon as you arrive,” said Garrant. “In many ways, this has become Wilmington's ‘homecoming’ where old friends get together and new friends are made. Residents have been extremely supportive of the events and the local community groups that participate each year and that support keeps driving the committee to organize the celebration and try to make it as enjoyable as possible for everyone.”

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