Story and Photos by Joe Cavanaugh
July 5, 2014
The Cotuit Kettleers celebrated the Fourth of July in grand fashion yesterday with their annual Family Fun Day and Home Run Hitting Contest at Lowell Park in Cotuit. The weather forecast had called for severe storms hitting the area during the morning of July 4th. The ominous forecast resulting from an early season hurricane (Arthur) visiting the area caused the Cotuit Civic Association to cancel its annual Fourth of July Parade early. Many people, however, including some of the participants in the parade, did not receive word that the parade was cancelled. Radar images showed the storms holding off to the south in the morning hours of the Fourth. Accordingly, with the parade cancelled, the Cotuit Kettleers organization accelerated Family Fun Day preparations, and was ready for fun early when people who planned to attend the parade discovered that Lowell Park was the only place to be for Fourth of July celebration activities.
A large and enthusiastic crowd descended upon Lowell Park early when they discovered that the parade had been cancelled. In fact, the owners of many of the classic cars scheduled to participate in the parade, held an impromptu parade in the Lowell Park parking lot! A dozen or so beautiful antique cars slowly made their way through the parking lot honking their horns, waving to the crowd, and throwing candy out to the kids. The crowd at Lowell Park cheered them all as they passed by.
At the Kettleers Family Fun Day, the music was cranking and Mother Nature was kind enough to provide warm temperatures and cloudy, but dry, skies for the free Lowell Park celebrations. Kids enjoyed watching Cotuit Kettleers Head Coach, Mike Roberts, get drenched in the dunk tank. This year actually marked the most surprising dunk ever for Coach Roberts. As Coach attempted to sit in the hot seat to wait for a well-aimed throw to hit the target and dunk him, the seat mechanism malfunctioned and he was dunked as soon as he sat down without a single throw being tossed! The look on Coach Roberts’ face confirmed that this was the most surprising dunk he had ever experienced. Once Coach Roberts and several assistant coaches who were also dunked dried off, it was time for the kids to take the hot seat and get dunked as well.
Kids also enjoyed the bouncy house, the mini high-striker, a 50’ obstacle course, and potato sack races. Additionally, as an example of what one observer called “adaptability,” a group of energized youngsters who had planned to serve free lemonade from the back of a small trailer on the parade route and saddened that the parade was cancelled, simply hauled their trailer to Lowell Park and set up shop. They handed out free lemonade to a grateful crowd for several hours, and had a blast doing it!
The annual Home Run Hitting Contest on the field drew the largest number of participants in history, and concluded just as Mother Nature’s kindness ran out, and the predicted storms began.
Many of the visitors who celebrated the Fourth of July with the Cotuit Kettleers were amazed to see the incredible improvements made to the field during the last off-season. In particular, visitors marveled at the beautiful new wooden grandstands, and the magnificently designed new dugouts for both the home and visiting teams.
It was a fun and memorable family day at Lowell Park on July 4th, 2014, and the Kettleers organization greatly enjoyed celebrating our Nation’s birthday with the greater Cotuit community. Many thanks to all of the great volunteers who made this special day happen! The Cotuit Kettleers invite everyone who celebrated the Fourth with us at Lowell Park this year to come back and do it all again next year!