Brewster halts tradition of Sparky’s Hayrides
A state regulation has put the brakes on Sparky’s Hayrides after a 30-year run.
Parker Williams Jr., better known as Sparky, has been taking kids of all ages for rides in a hay-filled trailer pulled by his 1948 John Deere Model A tractor for decades. At sunset most summer nights, the 76-year-old driver can be found perched over the steering wheel, smiling beneath his handlebar mustache and straw hat as he and a few excited children and parents bump along from Kate’s Fried Seafood & Ice Cream to Paines Creek Beach. No sunset has ever looked the same to him, Williams told the Times in 2015.
But the sun may be setting over the hayrides themselves after a recent controversy about satellite parking at the beach prompted the police chief to look into state laws governing trailers.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Section 13, states in part:
“No person or persons, except firefighters acting pursuant to their official duties, shall occupy a trailer or semi-trailer while such trailer or semi-trailer is being towed, pushed or drawn or is otherwise in motion upon any way.”
In other words, “You cannot tow people in a trailer,” Police Chief Richard Koch said.
People along Paines Creek Road had raised concerns about a plan to take people by shuttle, such as Sparky himself, to Paines Creek from a remote parking area that town officials were considering purchasing from the Brewster Conservation Trust. A warrant article to buy that land was indefinitely postponed at town meeting Monday night.
While this discussion was going on, Koch researched the possibility of shuttle parking and, specifically, whether Sparky could do it.
That’s when he found Chapter 90, Section 13, and had to tell Williams he would no longer be allowed to offer his rides unless the law was changed.