BOXBOROUGH: It’s June, and that means Fifer’s Day is just around the corner. Fifer’s Day 2023 will take place on June 17, at Flerra Meadows on Stow Road. The festivities start at 9:30am with the Fifer’s Four Mile Road Race, followed by a parade from the Blanchard School to Flerra Meadows at 11am and the presentation of the Golden Fife Award.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, soft drinks, beer and wine will be available for purchase starting at noon, and a volleyball tournament will start at 1pm. Throughout the afternoon, there will be live music by The Rocky Woods Express and Final Mile, plenty of activities for kids, and more than 50 different booths and exhibits. The event is jointly sponsored by the Boxborough District Minutemen Company and the Town of Boxborough's Public Celebrations and Ceremonies Committee.
The Fifer’s Day tradition goes back to 1967, when the newly-formed Boxborough Minutemen Company celebrated the first “Fifer’s Festival” to commemorate local contributions to the American Revolution. While the town of Boxborough did not exist during the American Revolution, namesake fifer Luther Blanchard lived in the portion of Littleton that later became Boxborough. Fifer’s Day has grown considerably since the 1960s, but it remains true to its roots: a parade, a cookout, activities for the kids… a quintessential small-town party.
Boxborough News spoke with Minuteman Captain Tony Newton about how the Minutemen prepare for Fifer’s Day.
When do the Minutemen start planning?
Newton: Planning starts in earnest in February with a kick -off planning meeting. The Fifer’s Day leader (also Boxborough Minuteman Lieutenant) organizes the meetings, assigns/gets volunteer leads for each of the major functions. The lead for 2023 is Lt. Bob Lucas.
How many volunteers are involved?
Newton: Most of the [Minutemen] Company are involved in some way so at any time there are often 25-30 involved. Many more are engaged in the days ahead of and on the day of Fifer’s Day.
What’s the biggest planning task?
Newton: Major tasks are the kid activities, organizing booths, coordination with town and getting permits, beverage and food, finance, booking music, operations (rentals), promotion, designing the program, getting sponsorships, organizing the t-shirts, organizing the road race, organizing the volleyball tournament. Each has [its] own complexities and timeline. Each of these has a lead or sub-team working on [it].
What is the most fun part of planning?
Newton: Interacting with the local community, including other organizations, sponsors, advertisers, town committees, and many volunteers from outside the Minutemen Company. Fifer’s Day is a great way to meet and work with many different people and really enjoy being part of a small town.
Are you planning anything new this year?
Newton: Not really new but lots of kid activities at the booths this year. Face painting, balloon animals, a treasure hunt, and others in planning.
And finally, you know we have to ask it… what color are the t-shirts?
Newton: I couldn’t possibly tell you. That is a closely guarded secret until Fifer’s Day!