Needham native Tammy Jennings, 45, always had a love for the Newburyport Yankee Homecoming parade.
“It was the best parade in the world,” Jennings said. “Because to me, being from Needham, we always had a Fourth of July parade, but the one in Newburyport always seemed to be never-ending.”
Luckily for Jennings, her father’s job at Rochester Electronics relocated their family to Newburyport the day after she graduated from Needham High School in 1985.
“My mom had an aunt and uncle that used to live up here in Newburyport,” Jennings said. “So I always went to Yankee Homecoming as a little girl. That’s how I was kind of introduced to it.”
Her love for Homecoming continued for the next 28 years as she got involved as much as she could.
“I have a child, and it was always one of the best things we did together,” Jennings said. “We always did the fashion shows, the Teddy Bear parades, and I have been an event chairman in the past.”
This year will be a little different for Jennings since she has been named the 56th annual Newburyport Yankee Homecoming general chairwoman. It’s not a role she is used to, but she is having the time of her life.
“I’m a person that really likes to be behind the scenes,” she said. “I love to get everybody involved. It’s what I do and I kind of pull everybody into Yankee Homecoming. The event chairmen that I have this year are all passionate about Yankee Homecoming. They all want to make their events special. They’ve worked hard on them. They’ve worked on it all year.”
Jennings currently lives in Rowley, but used to own a home in Newburyport. She’s also worked at the social services agency Turning Point Inc. in the city since 1986 — two facts that allow her to joke that she has “dual citizenship.”