Congratulations to this year's graduating class as they go out to make their way in the world. I felt like I had a personal stake in this year's seniors, since they are the first graduating class to include students I had the pleasure of working with in the ACAP After School Program. They were in sixth grade when the program started up way back when. As salutatorian Elizabeth Cusprinie said, this class is indeed an unparalleled group of young people. We wish them all the best of luck in their various endeavors.

And to them and everyone else, happy Fourth of July! The festivities begin with the parade at noon, starting at the Fairgrounds and ending up downtown. Those who wish to register should be at the Fairgrounds at 11 a.m. We all owe a big thank-you to Irwin and Sheila Borden, who have generously agreed to take on the big job of organizing the parade. We should also acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of Jeff and Carol Schwoebel, who have worked so hard in years past at making the parade such a success. Thank you both couples for stepping up on behalf of the community.

After the parade, don't miss the Ice Cream Social and Magic Show in Ballard Park, which is hosted each year by the Christopher Emmet Hallowell Fund and the Hallowell family. This is always a blast and lots of fun for kids like me.

On Friday, July 1, the Depot Theatre opens its season of premieres with Riffin' and Tappin', a two-hour musical extravaganza that's sure to get your toes a tingling. The show runs through July 17. Call 962-4449 or go to depottheatre.org for information and reservations.

Then on Thursday, July 7 at 5 p.m., the Westport Library will host its fabulous First View Party, where you can get a crack at the spectacular titles available during the book sale over the weekend (July 8, 9, 10 from 9-4). After that, at 7 p.m., comedy juggler Stephen Gratto and Sons will appear in Ballard Park, with a free-for-all show that involves lots of audience participation.

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