Rarely has one had the opportunity to experience such adulation, and abuse, all in the same public event.

I am writing these words in farewell to the West Athens Fourth of July parade. For the last 10 years, almost one-quarter of its nearly 40-year history, I have paraded along its “corner of nowhere” route.

Its growing popularity, increased numbers and a preponderance of boorish behaviors, have brought an end to one of the best Hippie Fests in Maine.

Sadly, my sign will now find a place in retirement, alongside the never-to-be-forgotten red boots.

There will be other venues for astute social commentary, but the West Athens Fourth of July Parade was as good as it gets, at least for this peaceful veteran of the culture wars.

Thank you to all the hippies, old and young, who made it happen. We will meet again.


Rev. Scott Jones


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