Can parade organizers bring Tom Brady to Wakefield?

12Feb17

massachusetts_regiment-wide

By MARK SARDELLA

Last year, he got Boston Bruins great Terry O’Reilly to participate in the Wakefield Independence Day Parade. So why not shoot for the moon this year, right?

Brian Fox, who books the non-musical acts for the parade, is hoping to get the greatest quarterback in NFL history to be part of the biggest Fourth of July parade in the state this year.

But will he succeed in bringing Tom Brady to Wakefield on July 4, 2017?

terry_oreillyThe Wakefield Independence Day Parade doesn’t have an unlimited budget to attract high-profile celebrities, but Fox wondered if maybe there was another way to make it happen.

“We had discussed getting big name people to be in the parade,” Fox said, “but money is always an issue. I figured months ago that if we had a social media campaign maybe we could get some bigger names to be involved. If we attract enough attention maybe we can get somebody to come.”

Fox is already doing his part to attract attention to the idea of bringing TB12 to Wakefield for the Independence Day Parade. He was interviewed yesterday by reporter Kathryn Burcham on Boston’s Fox25 News about his current mission to bring Brady to Wakefield. The segment was featured on several of Channel 25’s newscasts.

brian_fox-tv“With the winning of the Super Bowl and the announcement of the Parade, I thought that was a pretty good tie-in,” Fox says.

Brady led the Patriots to an improbable 34-28 comeback win in Super Bowl LI on Sunday to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to New England for a fifth time.

Fox notes that Wakefield Olympians like Kayla Harrison and Travis Stevens along with their judo coach Jimmy Pedro are already lined up to appear in this year’s parade. Will Tom Brady’s name be the next one added to that list?

Brian Fox says there are a couple of ways that you can participate in the effort to make that happen.

“I see two ways to accomplish it,” Fox posted on Facebook. “1) We are a few bucks short of paying him and would love a donation at http://www.julyparade.org or come skating at MarketStreet on Feb. 20, or 2) Send invites to him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get his attention using the hashtag #tombradyinwakefield and tell him how great the largest Fourth of July parade in Massachusetts is. Who is with me in wanting Tom Brady joining us on the 4th?”

The above-referenced Independence Day Committee’s “Skate for a Cause” event takes place on Feb. 20 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the MarketStreet Lynnfield Rink. MarketStreet Lynnfield will donate $2 of your admission fee to the Wakefield Independence Day Committee.

The Wakefield Independence Day Parade draws more than 80,000 people to Wakefield every year and attracts marching bands and other performers from all over the country. It costs about $80,000 to put the parade on.

bluecoats

The Fourth of July Parade has been a Wakefield signature event
since the 1920s. It is considered a “rite of passage” by many
longtime Wakefield residents. The parade has been run by a variety of organizations including an early version of what became the Chamber of Commerce and later by the West Side Social Club. In 1990 The Wakefield Independence Day Committee (WIDC) was created by a group of volunteers dedicated to continuing this annual town event. The WIDC ran the parade from 1990 until 2012.

richard_bayardIn 2012, the members of the WIDC retired and no one was left to run the parade. For two years, the loss of the parade was sorely felt by the town. This loss inspired another group of individuals to reorganize the Wakefield Independence Day Committee and re-launch the Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2015.

Fox said that his original idea was to try to get former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield to march in the parade – a “bring Wakefield to Wakefield” campaign. But then the Patriots won the Super Bowl, so he decided to save Tim Wakefield for next year.

Even if Brian Fox’s effort to bring Tom Brady to Wakefield turns out to be little more than a Hail Mary pass, it has already succeeded in one way. It has brought Boston media attention to Wakefield’s July Fourth Parade – in the middle of winter.

Fox says that if Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft gets wind of the campaign to bring Brady to Wakefield’s Parade and wants to send some of the Patriots Cheerleaders along with a couple of trophies, “that would be okay too.”

[This story originally appeared in the Wednesday, February 8, Wakefield Daily Item.]

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