Parade sees princesses, superheroes come to town

May 26, 2020

Those enjoying the sunshine in Dartmouth on Sunday may have run into an unusual sight: A parade of princesses and superheroes driving all over town to bring a little joy to residents still stuck at home.

Sixteen Dartmouth High and Middle schoolers dressed in costume for the occasion, standing and waving to kids and senior citizens from nine cars for nine hours.

They visited neighborhoods, public schools, and streets all over town, singing and playing classic Disney songs along the way.

Dartmouth high school sophomore Katie Lamothe dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

She rode in the car with her cousin Madyn Waskiewicz, who was Elsa from Frozen.

“It was a lot of fun, and it was really nice to see all the kids and even all the adults, and how happy they were to see all of us,” said Waskiewicz.

“We’re very sunburnt!” laughed Lamothe. “And tired.”

“It was really great to see all the senior citizens excited too,” she added. “A lot of them were looking through their windows. Everybody’s stuck at home, and it’s just nice to do something cool in the town.”

Dartmouth parent and School Committee candidate Mary Waite came up with the idea earlier this month as a way to raise spirits for children in isolation since schools closed in mid-March.

After a trial run through town two weeks ago, the main event was larger and more organized, according to Waite. 

She enlisted the help of neighborhood captains to spread the word and create a festive atmosphere on many streets. 

Waite’s children — high school sophomore Sophia and her brothers Lucas, 14, and Desi, 12 — also dressed up for the occasion. Sophie went as Cinderella, while Lucas was Harry Potter and Desi was Spider-Man.

“It went really well,” said Sophia. “It was definitely a long day, but we met a ton of kids and covered a ton of ground.”

“Before doing this, I never noticed how huge Dartmouth is,” she added. “But Dartmouth is a big town.”

As for the neighborhood kids, parents said they loved it — and many dressed up in costume for the event as well. 

They were SO excited to see the parade,” said Shannon Mathes McNeil of daughters Nora, 7, and Kenna, 2. “It's all they talked about the rest of the day until the moment they fell asleep!”