Editorial: Our long nightmare ends this Sunday

It’s finally back: The Dot Day Parade. The forecast for Sunday calls for sunshine in the 70s, a picture-perfect day for the return of what has long been considered the unofficial start of summer in these parts. 

Dorchester deserves a sun-splashed parade day in ’22 after going O-for-the pandemic the last two years. Here are some Dot Day-related musings while we wait impatiently for Mayor Wu to cut the ribbon and start the festivities  in front of St. Gregory’s on Sunday at 1 p.m. 

• The volunteers who run the parade committee made a great call when they picked Lou Pasquale, 95, to be its chief marshal for the ’22 Dot Day edition. A Quincy native who enlisted in the US Army as a teenager— and was wounded in the fight for Okinawa in 1945— Lou was slated to be the parade leader in 2020. He was disappointed when the event was cancelled due to Covid, but told us back in ’20 that he’d be ready to “serve” when the parade returned.

“God willing, I’ll be here,” he told us with a smile. “I definitely would!”

On Sunday, Lou will ride in a place of honor near the front of the procession. Do yourselves a favor and say hello to a real, live American hero— and a terrific human being.

• This year’s celebration of Dorchester Day is not confined to just one day. On Saturday, the neighborhood will be treated to its first-ever “Dorchfest,” our version of the Porchfest series that has been popularized in Somerville and Jamaica Plain. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 25 different locations, most of them yards or front porches in Ashmont-Adams, a section of Dot known for its beautiful Victorian homes with ample porches and green space for such gatherings. The lineup of musical talent— as seen on their excellent website, Dorchfest.com— is impressive in its diversity of people and genres. It promises to be a terrific addition to the neighborhood’s social scene.

• Game 2 of the NBA Finals starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, just as most post-Dot Day Parade cookouts should be winding down. What better way to cap off the triumphant return of Dorchester Day than by watching the Celts go up 2-0 over the Golden State Warriors?

• We are pleased to feature the work of Dorchester-based photographer Mike Ritter on the cover of this week’s edition. Mike has been documenting the parade for years and will be in this parade this year himself to help promote an exciting project that is coming up this fall. Thanks to a grant from the Boston Opportunity Fund, Mike will be creating free portraits of families and individuals in a “Get Close” project supported by the Reporter and the Boston Public Library. There will be much more information about how you can participate in future editions, but we’re pleased to offer a sample of Mike’s talent in this week’s edition.

• Finally, a word of thanks to the men and women behind Sunday’s parade and Saturday’s Dorchfest endeavor. All volunteers, they are neighbors who meet throughout the year to advance projects for our collective benefit. We appreciate your creativity and hard work.

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