David Barboza Named Chief Marshal

David Barboza Named Chief Marshal


dave barboza14Bristol Fourth of July Committee General Chairman Ray Lavey has named David Barboza to be chief marshal of the 229th celebration. For Mr. Lavey, the choice was easy. The two had become acquaintances over the past 12 years in their roles in town government and participating in various Fourth of July committees.

“I looked for someone who’s done a lot of good for the town. I like what he stood for on the town council. He does a lot of things quietly for the town. He was on the top of the list,” Mr. Lavey said.

After a clandestine meeting in December during which Mr. Lavey asked Mr. Barboza if he would be this year’s chief marshal, the best-kept-secret in Bristol was kept under wraps until the announcement was made at the Fourth of July Committee Wednesday night.

The proposition came as a surprise to Mr. Barboza who, months before, offered to help with the Fourth of July preparations.

“I told him if there’s something I can do to help you out, let me know. When he came and asked me (to be chief marshal), that was the last thought that came to mind. You could have knocked me over with a feather,” Mr. Barboza said.

He graciously accepted.

“They say it’s Bristol’s highest honor. It’s humbling,” Mr. Barboza said. “To me, Fourth of July is a state of mind.”

As the Fourth of July events and festivities begin to unfold, Mr. Barboza said, his role as chief marshal will be carried out in honor of those who inspired him to become involved in public service. First and foremost, he mentioned his parents, David and Irene Barboza, as well as notable local figures, Hector Massa, the late Col. Matthew Capone, and the late Anthony Iasiello.

Mr. Barboza’s history of volunteer service to the town includes roles in civil defense, the Bristol Fire Department, the Bristol Town Council and the Bristol Warren Joint Finance Committee. He is honored to be named chief marshal.

“What an honor it is to be in this association with people I knew growing up who I admired and respected,” he said.

This year, Mr. Barboza said, his family will give up the spot near the corner of Hope and Franklin streets where they’ve watched the parade for the past 25 years. Instead, they will be part of the parade, joining him in the two-and-a-half-mile march. And while the traditional cookout held in Mr. Barboza’s backyard may be put off for the holiday, there will still be festivities.

“Believe me, I’m going to have fun and make sure everyone else has fun as well,” he said.

Having watched the parade his entire life, Mr. Barboza said the one part of the parade that’s been especially significant is the beginning, at the corner of Hope and Chestnut streets.

“The thing I always wanted to do is cut the ribbon at the start of the parade. That is completely awesome. To me, it’s magical,” he said.


  1. It sure sounds like this was an inside job by Mr. Lavey. His self-spoken acquaintance with the former town council member supports this.
    The former council member made a lot of people upset by his frequent demeaning tone when speaking to others. This is probably not one of the better choices for Chief Marshall over the decades.

  2. congratulations to David. He deserves this recognition for his faithful service to the town of Bristol over the years.

  3. Congratulations David, like the old saying says good things come to those who wait…. .You have done a lot for our beautiful town and continue.
    To ShineOn1 no one is perfect are you? I may not always agreed with some of David decisions but he always explained his reasoning to me in a professional manner when asked.
    Once again good choice and congratulations.

    • You say he’s done a lot for Bristol?

      Name 5 things he has personally done for our town?

      It’s sad that our 4th of July chairman used his selection to help further Dave Barbozas political future…I guess you forgot how he ran his campaign againts our Town Administrator. I guess you condone his style of politics.

      So enjoy your 4th of July. As many have already said they refuse to be part of this years celebrations due to this years selection.

      • I feel the same way. I don’t want to go to the parade or the other preceding events but feel like we must.
        I am uncomfortable with the infringement on my family, our dedication to Bristol, and our traditions.

        I am asking David Barboza to decline his delegation as Chief Marshal. He should chose to be absent and think of the town. It can take just one. It does not have to take hundreds or thousands to make a difference and keep Bristol together. Let’s accept a resignation and move on.

  4. Though I did not often agree with David, I respect that he had the backbone to stand up for his positions and decisions. I also believe that every town volunteer gains the right to “snap back” on occasion, whether appropriate or not. I truly believe that David has been humbled by his latest set-backs and as a result he has worked even harder for the town as a private citizen.

    Congratulations David and enjoy this time and recognition of your efforts!

  5. This is sad! As a US citizen we are able to freely voice our thoughts. But if you choose to speak out at least be man/woman enough to not hide behind a fake name! David may not be your choice as a political leader but that has nothing to do with the honor that has been bestowed upon him as Chief Marshall! I have to wonder how many of you that are bashing him behind false names have done anything to better our town??? I can’t help but wonder with such a negative attitude what you have done that’s for the good of Bristol. Feel free to speak out but please don’t hide behind a false name!!

    • Robin,
      There is no free speech on this website. If you want free speech, then use another avenue. This site has to protect everyone in general. It is trying to be fair and objective so it does toss out many comments. Try speaking to some families in Bristol and find out why so many are upset with this decision.

  6. Oh Robin, have you ever went or watched a council meeting when Barboza was a counilor? I assume you have. However, like most people you look the other way at his very poor people skills. That isnt why I feel the way I do. I can only say so much on this website…eastbayri protects a certain few from time to time.

    Mr. Lavey, with so many more deserving people in Bristol, I find myself dumbfounded as to your thought process. I really question your motive for this selection, c’mon Sonny boy, whats the REAL reason you picked him. I guess you don’t care about the legacy of your chairmanship.

    People will say condratulations to you and Barboza…but do the really mean it? Some of the blind followers will, but rest assured, the peopke are not happy.

    Hete is one example, When has the selection of any Chief Marshal ever cause people to speakout against anyone’s selection.

    It is a true disservice to every Man or Woman to have ever had the honor to hold that title

    This time I do hope it rains on your parade.

  7. All these negative comments !!!
    I would like the “moderator” to take all of them down!!!
    To all those who posted negative commentS I say, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE TOWN???

  8. I was excited to hear my long time friend was given this honor. It is sad though that in the 5 years since I moved from Bristol little has changed in the public discourse. The same cowards take to the paper to take cheap shots at others. Like other social media the cowards hide behind anonymity to say say things they would never say to your face. I have known David for almost 20 years, he is a good man who has always cared for Bristol and his neighbors. If his long history of service to Bristol does not warrant this honor then frankly who does? I think David would be the first to tell you he is not perfect but then again who is. I know in my life David has stood by me even when it was not easy or popular. I have not been to a Bristol 4th of July in many years but my son and I will travel back to Bristol to see David march and we will cheer loudly to drown out the cowards. Congratulations David and thanks to the committee for this choice.