The 31st Foxboro Founders Day celebration basked in perfect weather and abundant community spirit last Saturday, leaving many to say it was one of the best ever.

The event featured a spirited parade with 500 marchers and six Super Bowl trophies, a doll carriage and wagon procession, field day games, tasty food, live music and a bang-up, grand finale fireworks display.

Foxboro Founders Day Parade

Students from Elite Dance perform in the parade.

Scott O’Donnell, a Founders Day committee chairman, said he got lots of positive feedback on the celebration, with many saying it was one of the most memorable Founders Days they’ve been to.

Foxboro Founders Day Parade

Buzz Lightyear and other Toy Story characters. The Fans of Founders Day sponsored a Toy Story-themed float and characters.

“We had more features in the parade than we have had in a while, with a lot of fun and creative floats,” he said. “We have things we’ve never had before such as a photo opportunity with the six Super Bowl trophies. There was a big line for that. We had some great bands playing, we had a Black Hawk helicopter and Sherman tank. It was a lot of fun.”

According to O’Donnell, the winning floats were:

Most Original: The Sherman tank, Stephen Shahabian

Foxboro Founders Day Parade

A tank rolls down the street as part of the Founders Day parade.

Best Illustrates Theme: The Foxboro Jaycees

Most Beautiful: Fan of Founders Day

Foxboro Founders Day Parade

Buzz Lightyear, who was part of the Fans of Founders Day’s Toy Story themed float, high-fives a young spectator.

According to parade chairwoman Monica Fisler, 50 groups and over 500 marchers participated this year, waving, smiling and tossing candies to the spectators.

“I thought the parade this year was very unique with the addition of the Sherman tank, Old Colony Pipes Band, and the stilt walkers,” Fisler said.

Foxboro High School freshman Sumner Brown was one of the winners of the “What Foxborough Means To Me” contest as well as a parade grand marshal and singer of the National Anthem.

“I was so excited and it was such an honor,” Brown said. “I love our country and Foxboro.”

Brown’s winning entry was titled, “Acceptance. Home. Family.”

“Ever since my family moved here, I felt like my life had meaning,” Brown said. “I met so many people and became very close to them. I always have someone to look up to and talk to here. And I thank everyone for that.”

Foxboro Founders Day Parade

Kids block their ears, some with their hands and some with earmuffs, to ward off the blaring sirens and air horns from the parade of firetrucks.

Other contest winners and parade grand marshals were Justin Truss, Elizabeth Provost and Ehrun Omuemu.

“It’s always great to be at Founders Day,” said Mandy Kerzner, who came to the event with her daughter, Mia Kerzner, and son Timmy Kerzner-Greenwell. “It’s good to see everybody and everybody is always in a good mood. We love coming for the raffles. Timmy likes playing the games and the strawberry shortcake. Good stuff.

“We’ve lived here for about 10 years. It’s great for the kids, I love all the schools in Foxboro, it’s just been a great experience for us.”

Foxboro Founders Day Parade

New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot poses for a photo with parade-goer Debbie Farrell of Foxboro.

“This is a fantastic day,” said Tina Belanger, an 18-year Foxboro resident who attended Founders Day with her son, Jack Belanger, 19. “It’s one of the best turnouts I’ve seen in a long time. The weather is perfect, everyone is in a good mood and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.”

Michael Phelan, 17, who just graduated from Foxboro High, came to the event with his friend Ben Kelly, 17, an FHS student.

“I love Founders Day. I’ve come here every year for the 17 years I’ve lived here. Always so much fun, the booths, and the games. I was born and raised here (Foxboro) for my whole life. It’s my town. I just love it here, “ said Phelan.

“I’ve also come here just about every year for the past 10 years. The parade is great. Activities are great. It’s probably one of my favorite days of the year,” said Kelly.

According to Kerry Rosado, Field Committee chairman, 45 groups were represented on the fields.

Foxboro Founders Day Parade

Country music singer Ashley Jordan, right, plays and sings atop of a float.

Also this year, a scavenger hunt was held on the field sponsored by local photographer Sasha Greenhalgh with all proceeds going to the Founders Day Fireworks Fund. Maps were available for $2 and all participants received a prize. In addition, a drawing was held and three lucky participants who completed the scavenger hunt received Patriots Place prize packages.

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