Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale and the Fitchburg Civic Days Committee are proud to announce Raymond and Diane Burnette as the 2023 Fitchburg Civic Days 4th of July Parade Grand Marshalls’ in recognition of their service to the Civic Days Committee for eleven years, and their dedication to the City of Fitchburg.
Living nearly forty years as residents of the City, Ray and Diane have volunteered their time in several capacities throughout the city from volunteering with the Fitchburg High School Cheerleading Squad to working numerous public events. Beginning in 2011, the Burnette’s felt a call to action to help make the Civic Days events return back to the days Diane remembers so vividly as Old Fashioned Days on Main Street. What began as making small improvements turned into a decade-long mission of spreading Fitchburg civic pride through multi-day celebrations of our great city. Enlisting the help of their daughters and local volunteers, Diane and Ray moved Civic Days events back to Main Street, added vendors, created events, and ensured that there was fun to be had for all ages. From dancing in the street to a wrestling ring, street performers, and even creating a beer garden for those old enough to participate – Diane and Ray had one thing in mind: showcasing all that Fitchburg has to offer to her residents and those that reside in surrounding communities. Fitchburg Civic Days events grew from 1,000 participants in 2011 to over 20,000 participants in their decade of volunteerism.
“Through Ray and Diane Burnette’s efforts, Fitchburg Civic Days has grown into a regional tourism event because of their passion and love for our city,” said Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale. “Fitchburg Civic Days is one of the city’s oldest traditions, and we owe a debt of gratitude to the Burnette’s for making Civic Days the best it has ever been since its inception.”
In recognition of the theme of the parade this year, “Honoring The Past and Inspiring The Future,” resembles the thousands of hours of devotion Ray and Diane provided to make Civic Days the impressive event it has become. Although Civic Days 2022 was their last year as volunteers, Diane and Ray reflect and acknowledge the success of the 4th of July events in Fitchburg would not be possible without the help of their two daughters Kylee and Katie, the Mayor, city departments, Committee Members, volunteers, vendors, and most importantly the Civic Days participants.
The 4th of July Parade starts at 10:00 AM and can be viewed along Summer Street and Main Street to the Upper Common. This year’s Civic Days Parade will be broadcast live on FATV by Travis Condon, Glenn Fossa and Thomas Hughes. The parade will feature community organizations, sports leagues, local businesses, and a variety of local and regional bands. For more information visit: www.fitchburgma.gov/civicdays.