Marguerite Moore has been chosen as this year’s Grand Marshal of the Northfield Labor Day parade and festivities. She’s been involved with Northfield activities for years, “But I didn’t volunteer for things around town to get recognition,” she says. “I’ve just given where I could, even if it’s just muscle. I’m honored and flattered that people think the things I’ve done qualify me to be Grand Marshal.”
In fact, she didn’t accept… at first. Northfield Observances President Diane McKain says, “When I called her about it, she wouldn’t accept until she’d thought about it a while.” Diane says of Marguerite, “She’s well known and respected.”
“Well, perhaps,” countered Marguerite, adding with a laugh, “You don’t do it for 20 minutes of riding in a convertible!”
Marguerite and her late husband moved to Northfield 26 years ago. It wasn’t long before the lure of the annual celebration beckoned. “Mark Smith roped me in.” It wasn’t a tough sell. “We were always downtown helping out.”
Marguerite began as the committee’s secretary, ascending to the presidency after ten years and remaining in that position for the next six, only stepping aside this year when family obligations called. “I knew the committee was in good hands. Things were changing in my personal life and it was time to concentrate on that.”
Northfield’s Labor Day celebration has experienced many changes over the years.
“Years ago there was a lot of stuff for our kids to do. The bands are still great. My husband and I loved to dance, so we’d go to the street dances while the kids played games.” The economy has also changed the Labor Day celebration. “Costs are going up but incomes aren’t. Contributions went down when the recession hit. Some of the vendors, who used to make enough on the summer circuit, had to back out to find full-time ‘real’ jobs.”
And there’s competition. “For many years we (the Northfield celebration) were the only game in town. Now there are things going on in Randolph, Waitsfield, Thunder Road.”
Yet, Northfield’s observance remains a mainstay. “It’s the culmination of summer; people coming out who you don’t see every day. It’s good to see the town come together, everyone coming out for the weekend, some with out-of-town relatives. It’s a real community gathering for three days: warm and friendly, like a huge family reunion, but not too too big. Quaint. Reminds me of the now-gone block parties when I was growing up in New York City.”
Look for Marguerite in this year’s Northfield Labor Day parade and plan to enjoy all three days of activities and free, family entertainment.