Bernardston community honors Frank “Bud” Foster with parade

  • A horse-drawn carriage proceeds up Church Street in Bernardston in a parade celebrating Frank “Bud” Foster’s 100th birthday on Friday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Police and fire vehicles lead a parade in Bernardston in honor of Frank “Bud” Foster’s 100th birthday on Friday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Cars turn onto Brattleboro Road from Church Street in Bernardston in a parade celebrating Frank “Bud” Foster’s 100th birthday on Friday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 5/22/2020 2:05:19 PM
Modified: 5/22/2020 2:05:07 PM

BERNARDSTON — From his home in Arizona, a well-known member of the Bernardston community watched via Facebook Live as his hometown celebrated his 100th birthday on Friday.

Although Frank R. “Bud” Foster, founder of Foster’s Supermarket in Greenfield, celebrated his May 22 birthday about a week early at his Arizona home, a parade through Bernardston was organized in his honor on Friday.

The parade, which began at the United Church of Bernardston at 10 a.m., included friends, family members — including a number of Foster’s children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews — as well as police cruisers and fire trucks, and even a horse-drawn carriage. The parade finished at the Senior Center, where cupcakes fittingly donated by Foster’s Supermarket were handed out in a drive-up fashion.

“It was like an early Memorial Day parade,” said Pam Nicholson, a longtime friend of Foster’s and a resident of Bernardston. “He had always hoped to be home for his 100th, so this is great.”

Foster was formerly a longtime resident of the town. The centenarian moved to Bernardston in the 1980s, where he and his wife, June, raised their family. They had four children, three of whom were able to be part of Friday’s parade.

The idea for the parade came from David Neil, pastor of the United Church of Bernardston, according to Foster’s granddaughter, Joyana Damon.

“I thought it was great,” she said. “It’s amazing all the stuff he has done to help the community, and now they are returning the favor.”

Damon and her husband, Steve, recorded the parade in three parts using Facebook Live, so Foster could watch the parade from afar. The livestream began with well-wishes from family members and friends.

Foster was a member of the Greenfield Kiwanis Club and played a role in starting Camp Kiwanis, according to Damon. He was also an active member of the United Church of Bernardston.

Neil, who said Foster has been the “heart and soul” of the church for as long as he’s known him, said he enjoyed watching the parade.

“I just wish he could have been here for it,” he said.

Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-772-0261, ext. 263. Twitter: @MaryEByrne

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