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Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Lester Evans of Falmouth sets up his lawn chair for the 50th annual Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth on Friday. In this annual ritual, the chairs cloak the sides of Main Street in bright vinyl, white plastic and checkered webbing. Straddling a fine line between inside joke and genuine desire for a premium view, the annual chair migration starts weeks prior to the July 17 festival start date. "When we did this years ago, you'd set up a couple of days before. Now, you need to do it at least a week ahead," said Nikki Evans, a Falmouth resident who comes to the festival every year, and was setting up her chairs on Friday.

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    A minimalist chair is secured with a yellow rope.

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    The chairs can be used to express various allegiances.

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Chairs reserve spots along Main Street for their owners to watch the annual Yarmouth Clam Festival parade, which typically lasts an hour and includes more than 130 floats, marching bands, antique cars and entertainers.

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    A chain holds these two chairs together. "This is a local cultural phenomenon, and I view it through a lens of interesting psychological behavior," said Sarah Victor, a massage therapist who works in Yarmouth. "I've observed everyone setting up weeks in advance, and a lot of my clients set up their chairs in front of their own Main Street houses, because if they don't, someone else will get their spot," Victor said.

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Most of the chairs set up well in advance of the Yarmouth Clam Festival parade are secured in place with bright rope or cord, attached to street signs or other immovable objects, serving as the lawn chair equivalent of a bike lock.

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    This chair bears an identifying label.

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Chairs are lined up for the 50th annual Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth on Friday, a week before the festival starts.

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    Chairs mark the spots for Yarmouth parade watchers - Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    While chairs reserve spots for parade watchers, the Yarmouth Clam Festival also includes a clam-shucking contest, fireworks, races and about 165 crafters, artists and photographers.

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