Thurlow brothers to serve as grand marshals in West Newbury

COURTESY PHOTO  Pentucket High School artists who offered their talent to help design and build a Memorial Day float for the Pentucket Arts Foundation. 

WEST NEWBURY  – Siblings John and Rick Thurlow will serve as grand marshals in this year’s Memorial Day parade on Monday.

The men trace their heritage back to Aquila Chase of Newbury, who fought in the Revolutionary War and was laid to rest in the Sawyer Hill Burying Ground in Newbury. He was the great grandson of Aquila Chase, who immigrated to the area from England in the 1600s.

The Thurlow Family owned and operated Cherry Hill Nurseries on Moulton Street from 1832 to 2000. The farm was known internationally for its prized peonies, among other offerings.

John Thurlow served as a medic for the U.S. Army in France and then spent six years in the Army Reserves in Lawrence. His brother, Rick, also served in the Army as a member of the military police. He  was stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. An unofficial town historian, he is known for his informative talks and writings on the history of West Newbury. Both men also served in various capacities on municipal boards and committees over the years.

The annual parade steps off from town square at the intersection of Main and Maple Streets at 10:30 a.m. Monday, proceeding east on Main Street to the Training Field and Old Town Hall. In honor of the town’s bicentennial anniversary this year, the parade is shaping up to be the largest ever, according to organizers.

Among the participants planned are the 215th Army Band, 182nd Engineer Company, Aleppo Shriners Minutemen, Glover's Marblehead Regiment, area police and firefighters, Massachusetts State Police, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, local Girl and Boy Scouts, the Pentucket High School Marching Band, a Fife & Drum Band, Riding & Driving Club, the Sunrise Dairy Milk Wagon, classic cars, Pentucket athletics, West Newbury Youth Leagues, local and state elected officials, and town boards and committees.

In addition, the Bicentennial Committee, the Garden Club and the non-profit Pentucket Arts Foundation will each be sending a float down Main Street. Immediately following the parade, a ceremony takes place on the Training Field in front of the G.A.R. Memorial Library and Old Town Hall. Afterward, the West Newbury public safety crew and volunteers host an open house and cookout at the Public Safety Complex, 401 Main St. All are welcome to stop by.

This year’s parade was organized by Town Manager Angus Jennings and director Theresa Woodbury of the Council on Aging.

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