SILVER CREEK - Sunday, the last day of the Festival of Grapes, featured a parade that drew a large crowd.
Vice-chairman of the Festival of Grapes, Bob Graves, stationed himself in front of the reviewing stand.
"Attendance was huge. Looking from where I was the crowd was four to five deep. That signals a large crowd," he said.
OBSERVER?Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Grape Prince Joseph Bowers hugs his grandmother, Mary Lou Pagano, Sunday at the Festival of Grapes Parade in Silver Creek.
Treasurer of the festival, Diane Carpus who was working inside Festival Headquarters located on Main Street, said, "The weather contributed to the success of the event. This is a large turnout."
Beginning with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's mounted division, the parade was long and seemed to have something for everyone.
Bands from nearby middle and high schools marched. Other local favorites included the Chadwick Bay Buccaneers, the Western New York Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, and the high energy Rubbermaid Brigade.
In addition, there were units from Erie County including the championship West Seneca School band with its color guard, the Renegade Drum Corps from Lockport looking smart in their distinctive red uniforms, and the Erie County Sheriff's Irish Pipers.
The Ambassadors Twirling Corps from Erie County put on an amazing twirling display.
Teams from Collage Performing Arts Center drew applause from an appreciative audience as did Norman Yonkers' Karate Connection's demonstration team. Cheerleaders from Brocton midget football clad in green smiled and raised spirits.
Fire departments brought out their trucks, blaring sirens, beeping horns, and throwing candy to kids who scrambled for it. Some departments bought their cadence units, marching proudly.
Veterans' organizations, from motorcyclists to more traditional marchers and youth groups participated.
There were floats, one by the area Cub Scouts who rode proudly. The other was created by the VFW from Eden who depicted the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Va.
Local politicians threw candy to the children. County Legislator Robert Duff drove a distinctive tractor down Main Street, and applauded the community.
Parade Marshall was Jim White arrived in one of his classic cars. James Vetter was named grape grower of the year. The grape festival royalty took their place on the reviewers' stand.
All in all, it was a successful parade and festival. Graves said that the committee is always looking for new members. He advised anyone interested to contact him at 410-2049 or Chairman Brian Boedo at 560-5976.
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