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Fourth of July

July 12th, 2009 by Beth Colt

You won’t see a parade like this one anywhere else on the planet.

On the Fourth of July, the citizens of Woods Hole line Water Street to watch one of the more unusual parades I have ever seen. The marine biological labs empty out and students dress as single cell amoeba, dance like algae and wear crustacean costumes to ring in our nation’s birthday. Its a fabulous amalgamation of science and patriotism and I can’t imagine a better spot to enjoy this important holiday.

On the porch of the Woods Hole Inn, we offer free lemonade, ice tea, cookies and a great view of the festivities. Our guests mingle with locals as festive floats and scads of graduate students dance and laugh their way from School Street across the drawbridge. Kids and their parents line the streets and enjoy the antics. After the parade, the shops and restaurants are filled with hungry revelers eager to get a nice lobster taco, ahi tuna burrito or cold draft beer by the waterfront. This year was one of the first great days of the summer weather-wise, so it felt especially festive and crowded. Hot in the sun, the steady southwest breeze off of Vineyard Sound kept everyone cool.

We open the inn up on the Fourth and give tours. This year a grande dame from Juniper Point came in to look around and see if we were “up to snuff” (as my own grande dame of a grandmother used to say) for later in the summer when her large house by the water would be packed to the last maids room and she might need some overflow space. I toured her through the renovated property and in her own quiet and WASPY way she seemed impressed. She had that wonderful lockjaw that distinguishes the generation that grew up listening to Katherine Hepburn and living in the world chronicled by movies like “Philadelphia Story.” She told me she was 84 years old, she had been coming to Woods Hole her entire life and she had never before set foot in the Woods Hole Inn. “We always thought it was a house of prostitution!” she exclaimed. Well, I said, who knows, maybe it was?

But it’s not anymore, and next year when you are scratching your head about what unique way to spend the Fourth, consider the Woods Hole Inn. We may not have any “ladies of the evening,” but we promise to show you a good time:)

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