Official Souvenir Parade Program: Parade Committee

Sunday, September 11, 1988

at one o'clock in the afternoon

at North Beach at Winnacunnet Road

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By Virginia Hatch

Responsible for the demanding organization needed to insure that this "Hampton Happening" is a memorable event, is the 350th Anniversary Parade Committee.

This subcommittee, of the 350th celebration committee, started to function as long ago as the spring of 1985. At that time the Parade Chairman was Michael Small. Toward the end of 1986 he resigned to join the Peace Corps. Marge and Jerry Dignam were selected as co-chairmen.

Members of their committee include: Pam Dignam Bates, Gloria Dignam Dion, Brian Doherty, Judy Dubois, David Fay, Jake Fleming, Dianne Dignam Frechette, Glen French, Rick Gibbons, Bill Herlihy, Jim Kennedy, Mary Alice Knightly, Bruce "Doc" Noel, John Palladino, Dennis Pelletier, Parker Ryan, Fred Schaake, Carol Shine, Mike Small, John Tinios, Mike Tinios, Tom Whelan, Frank Willette and Cindy Willis.

To coordinate all of the details involved in finalizing an undertaking of such monumental proportions, the Parade Committee members have worked throughout many months of preparation. An item of dissension surfaced: a difference of opinion as to the site of the parade -- uptown or beach boulevard. It was decided that rather than gridlock the Seacoast area from Salisbury to Portsmouth, which is what was expected to happen if Route One were closed, the parade would be on Ocean Boulevard. One fact considered was that in 1938, at the time of the 300th parade, the traffic count (according to New Hampshire State authorities) on Lafayette Road on an average day put the number of automobiles in the hundreds; whereas, in 1985, an unofficial estimate was a year-round average of 20,000 vehicles per day. (This great increase in traffic is due to the population explosion in southern New Hampshire that has occurred in the last few years.) The issue was resolved. The parade would be at the beach.

Jerry Dignam praised the members of the Parade Committee saying that everyone did their jobs and called it "one of the most mature, hardest-working committees I ever worked with." He singled out some members of the committee for special recognition because of their hard work and dedication: Frank Willette, retired Department of Labor Special Investigative Unit Agent, for his ability to interface with bureaucracy and cut through government red tape; Jimmy Kennedy, for taking over the ads for the program almost with no assistance; Tom Whelan, who was in charge of route selection, for being very organized and very precise; Dennis Pelletier for his help with the police units; "Doc" Noel, a very highly energetic individual, for being a person who, if he takes a job, does it. The Fire Chief William H. Sullivan, Police Chief Robert E. Mark, and Department of Public Works Director John R. Hangen for having given their fullest cooperation and expertise on traffic control.

The Parade Committee
Parade Committee Members Shown are:

Bottom row from left to right:
Pam Bates, Marge Dignam, Gloria Dion, Dianne Frechette.

Top Row, left to right:
Bob Tiffany, David Fay, Glen French, Johnny Palladino,
Jerry Dignam, Fred Schaake, Jim Kennedy, Parker Ryan and Jake Fleming.

(For committee members not present, see article above.)

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