BRISTOL — “Bristol’s Best-Kept Secrets” were on full display as hundreds of marchers, musicians, dancers, float riders, and more took to heart the Mum Festival theme during the 55th annual Bristol Mum Festival Parade on Sunday, Sept. 25.
“It was a beautiful day for a parade,” said Dianna Tack, parade cochair, in a press release. “We had unbelievable support from participants and all the people who came out to downtown Bristol to participate in this amazing tradition.”
This year’s award-winning floats and marching units were chosen from more than 110 local school groups, veterans’ organizations, scout groups, businesses, bands, civic clubs and more. Awards presented include the Hometown Hero award, selected by 2016 Hometown Hero Dave Peplau; awards judged and selected by the mayor and organizers of the festival and the parade; one for the “Best Use” of festival theme “Bristol’s Best Kept Secrets”; and more.
This year’s Robert Bailey Best Overall award was presented to the University of Connecticut Marching Band, which, accompanied by cheerleaders, the dance team, and UConn mascot Jonathan the Husky, was a parade crowd favorite. The Best Overall award has been given since 2013 in honor of longtime parade volunteer, the late Bob Bailey, to the marching unit which garners the best overall scores in the parade as judged by a panel of professional parade judges.
Best Overall Award, Given in Memory of Robert Bailey: University of Connecticut Marching Band
First Place, High School Band: Lewis S. Mills High School Spartan Marching Band
Second Place, High School Band: Torrington High School
Third Place, High School Band: Northwestern Regional High School
First Place, Senior Music: Connecticut Patriots Senior Ancient Drum Corps
First Place, Junior Music: Marquis of Granby Junior Ancient Fyfe & Drum Corps
First Place, Non Musical: American Legion Post 2
Second Place, Non Musical: Flips Gymnastics
First Place, Fire Department: Bristol Fire Department
First Place, Dance Group: Nutmeg Performing Arts Center
Second Place, Dance Group: Get Up N Dance
Third Place, Dance Group: YWCA School of Dance
Mum Festival Chairperson’s Award: South Side School
Hometown Hero’s Choice Award: Immanuel Lutheran Church and School
Mayor’s Award: West Bristol School
Best Business Entry: Home Depot
Second Place, Best Business: Flips Gymnastics
First Place, Best Youth: Bristol Girls Softball
Second Place, Best Youth: Cub Scout Pack 15
Third Place, Best Youth: Bristol Catholic Schools, St. Joseph and St. Matthew
Fourth Place, Best Youth: Cub Scout Pack 432
Parade Chairperson Award, Best Use of Festival Theme (“Best Kept Secrets”): St. Paul Catholic High School
Best Live Flowers: South Side School
First Place, Best Community: Bristol Historical Society
Second Place, Best Community: Bridge Community Church
For more information about the festival, visit bristolmumfestival.org.