This year’s Barkhamsted parade dedicated to late Peter Minton

Photo via Peter Minton's online obituary.
Photo via Peter Minton's online obituary.

BARKHAMSTED — The town’s traditional Independence Day parade will be held on Monday, July 5.

The parade will kick off at 10:30 a.m. on West River Road near the former red bus barn in Pleasant Valley and proceed to the Barkhamsted Elementary School.

This year, the Barkhamsted Lions Club has dedicated the parade to the late Peter Minton, the son of longtime Star Band leader Willard Minton.

Peter Minton died last year after a battle against esophageal cancer.

For years, he played in the Star Band with his father, playing trombone and bass trombone during Independence Day parades, local theatrical productions, and ensembles in the Northwest Corner.

“He was a gifted musician who played trombone as well as anybody I have known,” his father Willard Minton said to The Winsted Phoenix. “He attended Regional 7 where he auditioned for and was selected for Regional Festival, All-State, and All-New England bands along with orchestras for all four years of high school.”

Peter Minton was a father of three and worked as a machinist at Sterling Engineering in Barkhamsted.

“He was hard-working, fun, and just full of energy,” Willard Minton said. “Laughter was part of his life and he shared it with other people. He was just a hard working young man. We were always very proud of him. Music was a very important part of his life.”

He said that his son participated in the Star Band for years.

“He always loved the patriotism of playing in the band,” Minton said. “He last played in the band two years ago. He was quite ill already, but he still participated in it and he played.”

The Star Band is very unique because anyone can play in it. No one needs to be a professional or audition.

“It’s an exercise in faith because I don’t know who is going to be there,” Minton said. “We encourage everyone in the rehearsal to show up. But if you can’t make that, there’s no reason to not show up during the morning of the parade. It’s always remarkable how great the players do because they want to be there and they want to participate in something fun.”

One day before the parade on Sunday, July 4, the Star Band will be holding a rehearsal at Barkhamsted Elementary School starting at 4 p.m.

For more information call Minton at 860-379-3151 or email mintonpattywill@gmail.com

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