Dot Day Parade represents all of us very well

Mayor of Dorchester Cam Charbonnier with his mom Leah Finn at the parade. Bill Forry photoMayor of Dorchester Cam Charbonnier with his mom Leah Finn at the parade. Bill Forry photo

Another Dorchester Day has passed us by, albeit at a slower pace than usual. It’s fair to say that Sunday’s 111th parade up the avenue took its sweet time, with a long procession that seemed content to stop and smell the rose-bushes along the way. It was particularly true of the parade’s first division, led as it was by Mayor Martin Walsh. Hizzonah cannot be faulted for his deliberate pace. A proud son of Dorchester, he was bombarded by selfie-seekers and group huggers on each and every block.

If the snail’s pace irked the faithful, it was hard to tell. A record number of bands, DJs, and dancing squads punctuated the sun-splashed pauses with an eclectic mix of sounds. From Dixieland to Dancehall, the Dot Day Parade is a walking, winding, twirling, break-dancing celebration of music, cultures, and lifestyles. The diversity along the march is dizzying and intoxicating— and it’s what makes Dot Day unique.

There’s no drama, no triumphialism. This isn’t a day to wallow in urban decay or to wrap yourself in a contrived flag of neighborhood exceptionalism. No need to toot our own horn or put out a press release.

It’s obvious to everyone who shows up— this neighborhood is special. We’ve got veterans and peaceniks, pols and pole-dancers, corner kids and Ivy Leaguers; they all shared sidewalk and avenue on Sunday. They make us who we are.

Dot’s hot right now. Some of the blighted blocks we tripped past in this year’s procession looked back at us for the last time. Glover’s Corner— the crossroads of Dot Ave and Hancock Street— will soon be the site of a gleaming new apartment/retail complex called DotBlock. (The first BRA meeting on the project is June 22 at the Boys and Girls Club’s McLaughlin building.) It’ll be a welcome change.

The volunteers who make Dot Day happen do it every year and get barely a word of thanks. That’s their style and it’s par for the course. They see their role in organizing the parade as an honor and a duty. Without them, the parade would shuffle off into the sunset. And then who would our little Dot Rats throw snappers at on the first Sunday in June.

Let us name them, then, the men and women of the Dorchester Day Parade Committee who toil all year long to make our neighborhood look good:

Led by president Gretchen Geary, vice-president Joe Zinck and clerk Ed Geary, Jr, the board also includes Brianne Gore, Kelly Walsh, George Hacunda, Dick Bennett, Karen MacNutt, and the indefatigable Joe Chaisson. The full committee includes Jill Cahill Baker, Bob Boushell, Kelly Butts, Sally Cahill, Carol Chaisson, John Connor, Caroline Cahill Delano, Jean Cahill Donovan, Annissa Essabi-George, Christine Hogan, Marty Hogan, Christine Isabelle Hogan, Daniel Lamoureux, Binh Nguyen, Paul Nutting, Meg O’Connell, Pat O’Neil, Millie Rooney, Ed Pimental, Peter Sasso, John Scannell, Pam Smith, Nghia Truong, Barbra Trybe, Colleen Walsh and Lisa Zinck.

Thank you, one and all.

– Bill Forry