It's not clear how the little hamlet of Andover, with a population just under 2,000, came to be a destination for an estimated 10,000 visitors on each Fourth of July, but this year's throng was larger than ever despite oppressive heat and humidity.
Proctor's campus sprawls through the center of the village, and to say that we're "overrun" by vendors, shoppers and people-watchers is only a little harsh. The Town Green is populated by booths and kiosks offering antiques, crafts, jewelry, political and spiritual advice, information (on the town Historical Society, Rail Trail, etc.,) and junk.
The Andover Service Club, which raises money for local student scholarships, sells pies and slices.
The lawn space between Ives and Maxwell Savage is a less-formal flea market dominated by Proctor faculty and staff. Dickering is encouraged.
Andover's libraries turn the stone chapel into a used books salesroom.
The parade--which snakes from the Fieldhouse down North Street to Main Street to proceed past an official viewing stand and dense crowds--is so long that by the time Uncle Sam and the Bektash Temple Drum & Bugle Corps finish at Carr Field, the final floats and fire trucks have not yet started by Proctor Pond.
You can always enjoy them again on Main Street by Ives House.
But no treatment of Andover's Fourth of July would be complete without addressing the quantity of fried food offered and comsumed. Indeed, the air is heavily perfumed with the scent of French fried potatoes, grilled hot dogs, and sausage grinders smothered in onions, peppers and mustard.
The day begins with a pancake breakfast in an elementary school gymnasium thick with smoke from grilled breakfast links.
This young lady has a winning strategy for bean bag toss.
While this lucky guy's dad purchased a sailing ship model.
Drew Donaldson tries out Raz's motor scooter, which he could have owned for just $900. That didn't happen.
At ten o'clock, Margo Coolidge sings the National Anthem as Boy Scouts raise the flag on the Town Green.
Andover Lions Club features a Concord Coach.
This year's theme was "fairytales," and Miles Hurlbutt and friends enacted a scene from the Three Little Pigs.
Six dollars bought me this Italian sausage grinder,
Michael Cave enjoyed one, too. Hey, it's the Fourth of July in Andover!