Twenty-one children, ages 3 to 9, sat on or lined up beside their bicycles, which were decorated with sparkly red, white, and blue tassels, ribbons, flags, stars, and in one case, paper flowers. The bikes ranged in size and style from a red balance bike to multi-geared trail-worthy bikes. The children themselves were mostly dressed in red, white, and blue outfits, and many wore their helmets. One father pointed out that it is second nature for his children to wear helmets when on their bikes.
Parents and grandparents looked on as the children were arranged in age groups. One mother recalled when she herself participated in the bicycle decorating contest. Not so long ago, the bikes followed the parade into town, and she remembered having to avoid bike crashes on the way down the hill, like the Tour de France.
It seemed like an almost impossible job for the judges, Carolyn and Larry Sweeney of Still River Road, to choose winners in the categories of united we stand, most patriotic, and best use of red, white, and blue. Happily, everyone got a ribbon, either a red one or a blue one. Connie Barton, a member of the Fourth of July Committee, coordinated the contest.
The judging was barely over before some of the bikes took off up the Common, appearing smaller and smaller as they climbed the hill. On this day they did not follow the parade vehicles back down.
Best represents the theme ‘united we stand’
- Eija Rauktys, age 4
- Abner Huchowski, age 6
- Wyatt Evans, age 7
- Vidhur Sampige, age 9
- Audrey Miller, age 3
- Morgan Evans, age 5
- Taylor Macphee, age 7
- Ava Huchowski, age 9
Best use of red, white, and blue
- Lily Brown, age 3
- Austin Swift, age 6
- Grace Paro, age 8
Also participating were Callan Cook, Logan Scott, Riley Nurse, Bailey Scott, Otis Brown, Emma McRae, Charles Bulger, Marin Lynch, Vidwath Sampige, and Quinn McRae.
Larry and Carolyn Sweeney serve as judges for the children's bike decorating contest. (Photos by Lisa Aciukewicz)
From left, Morgan Evans, Otis Sumner Brown IV, and Emma Macrae talk while waiting for the judges to view their bikes.
Left: Six-year-old Austin Swift waits for the bike decorating contest to begin.
Right: Wearing a pair of butterfly wings, Eija Rauktys shows her father David her prize.