Peabody: They all screamed for ice cream

Joe Buongiorno leads the childrens’ parade at the Ward 6 Fourth of July Festival. (Anthony Cammalleri)

PEABODY — Each of the city’s six wards hosted events commemorating the Fourth of July holiday.

While each ward has its own distinct flavors and traditions, the one constant across the city on July 4 is always ice cream, as in Treadwell’s Ice Cream.

Treadwell’s owner, City Councilor Tom Gould, said he has been donating ice cream for Fourth of July ward celebrations since he bought Treadwells 22 years ago.

“It’s a Fourth of July tradition and it’s nice to be able to give,” Gould said. “I think this year we had five of the six wards ask for donations. After that they just come and pick it up. We opened at 6 : 30 this morning and pretty much all the ice cream had been picked up by 9:30. ”

Ward 4 celebrated at Emerson Park on Monday. The day kicked off with a special check presentation to Zoe, a young girl battling cancer.

“It was a great ceremony and so many people were in tears thinking about what Zoe is going through and how strong she is,” said Ward 4 City Councilor Julie Daigle. to help in just a small way. ”

Old-fashioned games and contests, arts and crafts, hot dogs and hamburgers. A popular hit this year was the bounce house with long lines throughout most of the day.

Daigle, in her first year as ward councilor, left no stone unturned in spreading word of the party. In the days leading up to the event, she canvassed the neighborhood, handing out flyers to promote the event.

“I mostly targeted some of the areas that don’t usually come,” Daigle said. “It was really just getting the word out to people who may not have been aware that it’s a really fun day to come out and be with neighbors,” friends, and family. ”

Former Ward 5 City Councilor Joel Saslaw and his family also took part in the festivities.

“It’s been very nice and this is an excellent crowd,” he said. “I’m just happy to be able to be here to celebrate our country’s birthday.”

Ward 4 resident Angie Brown was celebrating the Fourth in style – as Uncle Sam, drawing much curiosity from the little ones.

“I have the costume and I live across the street,” said Brown, who also dresses up as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

“I just love doing it and I’ve been all over in costume, everyone really enjoys it. I just love to bring the stage.”

Daigle said about 40 volunteers helped out running the games and contests and dishing out approximately 120 hot dogs and 300 juicy hamburgers.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers who have been so helpful,” Daigle said. “We pretty much started from scratch and we just decided to kind of wing it as the day went on. It was great to see everyone smiling and having fun. ”

The day included a one-mile run, a DJ, arts and crafts, and an egg toss.

“We have 150 eggs, so we can accommodate pretty much anyone who wants to participate,” Daigle said.

One of the popular events was the potato sack race. Daigle gave it the old college try and competed in the 12 and up division. For the record, while she didn’t win, she didn’t finish last.

Ward 1’s event, hosted by Craig Welton, was held at Raddin Park on Monday. The celebration started with a patriotic parade followed by various contests and games, hot dogs and hamburgers and, of course, ice cream from Treadwell’s.

Ward 2’s event, hosted by Peter McGinn at the Welch School, had a little something for everyone, including pony rides for the kids, field games and contests, a parade, face painting, and a misting tent. The day featured a free raffle and plenty of prizes for all. The day wrapped up with pizza and ice cream.

Over at Connolly Park at Stephani Peach’s Ward 3 celebration, the day started with a children’s decorated bicycle parade and ended with a traditional egg toss. In between there were field races and contests, crafts, food and beverages, and cotton candy.

Dave Gamache’s Ward 5 celebration began at the Kiley School with a children’s patriotic bicycle, tricycle, and carriage parade which was led by a police escort to Lt. Ross Park where there were plenty of activities and prizes for all. Pizza and Big Pig barbeque were served.

In Ward 6, Councilor Mark O’Neill offered many traditional activities (parade, hot dogs and burgers, egg toss to name a few) and a few fun twists at Symphony Park on Sunday. There was a moon bounce and cornhole games, a basketball free-throw contest and coins in the hay. Curious Creatures brought an assortment of interesting animals.

Peabody Resident Joe Buongiorno led a festive parade around the park, in which children riding their bicycles and toy cars followed his red, white and blue tractor. Buongiorno said that he started leading the festival bike parade as an opportunity to have fun with his grandkids and that each year he has to keep up his tractor decorations with the kids’ creative bike decor.

“I think it’s great. Each year I notice the crowds get bigger and the parents are souping up their vehicles, possibly because I’ve got this [tractor]It’s good to see people outside having fun, ”Buongiorno said.

O’Neill was throwing nickels in the childrens’ hay patch while they watched eagerly.

“This a fun event that we’re able to do because the City of Peabody is able to have each ward in the city do a celebration like this for the Fourth of July weekend. Ward 6 has always had great turnouts and this year’s no different , ”O’Neill said.“ I remember doing all of these activities when I was a kid. It’s just a great community event. ”

“A lot of good things go on in this city and this Fourth of July is one of them,” Gould said.

Anne Marie Tobin can be reached at

Anthony Cammalleri can be reached at

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