Home Haddonfield Letters & Opinions A message from Haddonfield Mayor Neal Rochford

A message from Haddonfield Mayor Neal Rochford

Head of the borough expresses his thoughts on the cancellation of Independence Day activities, and wishes for a stronger future.

This upcoming 4th of July will be bittersweet for me.

The Haddonfield 4th of July celebrations are something I hold near and dear to my heart. For me, it’s the little things like watching families with small children heading up to the parade with their decorated bikes, seeing the chairs put out before the parade so that people can get a great view, and feeling the energy from the community groups lining up for the parade. When I had the pleasure to lead the parade with my fellow commissioners, it fills me with pride in seeing children sitting on the curb with the American Flag.

The shout-outs and the waves from familiar faces make my day! I’ve even been called out for slowing down the parade because of my tendency to try and say hello to everyone.
I’ve always enjoyed the neighborhood floats, no matter what the topic. Does anyone remember the Martha Stewart in jail float? Or the time Roberts Ave had everyone dress up as Mayor Tish Colombi? In the 2000 year I had gotten a group together and we did a theme of the Y2K bug that no one understood. We came in last place but still had a blast!

My hometown pride is overflowing with appreciation that I can live and serve in such a wonderful community. To me, there is nothing like a parade to remind us to celebrate our past and to show our patriotism. Together, it’s a time for our residents to celebrate our independence.

This year, because of the COVID-19 virus, many events have been canceled. While it’s hard to imagine no parade and fireworks this year, the committee’s decision to cancel is the right one in my opinion, due to the large crowds. The traditional activities will be back in the future and better than ever.

As the governor continues to open the state back up, I would like to thank everyone during this very stressful period for your teamwork and patience. Please continue to support the Haddonfield business district, as they have truly suffered during the lockdown.

Lastly, I thank the Celebrations Committee for their work and dedication to organizing the events for over 50 years. This group works all year to bring the best parade and firework display in South Jersey, and deserve our heartfelt gratitude.

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