By SAMANTHA MCDONNELL
OBSERVER Staff Writer
GOWANDA - Soaring temperatures did not stop people from coming out to enjoy Gowanda Gala Days Saturday.
OBSERVER Photo by Samantha McDonnell
The Renegades Drum and Bugle Corp marched in the Gowanda Gala Days parade Saturday. The Gala Days continue today with events from noon to 8 p.m.
The temperature reading at Community Bank N.A. on West Main Street was 94 degrees throughout the afternoon.
The afternoon started out with a bike rodeo and tricycle race sponsored by Gowanda Jubilee and the Gowanda Police Department. A breast cancer walk took place at Chang-Hu Park at 11 a.m. and a cookie contest took place at noon. The American Red Cross bloodmobile was parked from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. taking blood donations.
The grand parade was held at 3 p.m., but according to the Gowanda Chamber of Commerce it was slightly delayed out of respect for a wedding occurring in downtown. The parade consisted of 30 floats that marched from the High School down Chapel Street to Route 39.
Emergency rescue vehicles came from Gowanda, State Police, Cattaraugus County Sheriff, Collins, Dayton, Versailles, Leon and Seneca Nation. During the parade, judging occurred for best float. Gowanda Rehabilitation and Nursing Center won first place; Jubliee of Gowanda won second place and Collins Fire Department won third place.
For 58 years prior, the weekend events were known as Pioneer Days. This is the first year that it has operated as Gowanda Gala Days. A contest was held to come up with a new name and Gala Days won.
"I'm very pleased with the turnout of the people," Gowanda Chamber of Commerce President Jennine Sauriol said.
Along with the parade, vendors that offered food, artwork and merchandise for sale lined Main Street. Carnival rides were available for the children and hot air balloon rides were also available at a cost.
Gala Days continues today with carnival rides from 1 to 8 p.m.; a car show from noon to 5 p.m. on Main Street; a dunk tank noon to 5 p.m.; and a magic show featuring Don Rogers.