Roll On, Parade, Move On
Arrived at Borough Hall at 10 AM, got the last handicap
parking space, shuffled to the flag pole where we settled in lawn chairs on the brick walk for the long wait.
Waiting for a parade to unfurl and arrive at our viewing space is expected by us so people watching is our interest until the street becomes alive with paraders. The sprinkles which came down early made many unfold their umbrellas but it mostly subsided before the parade action arrived where we sat.
Patriotism extended its heart as viewers rose to their feet, uncovered their heads, and saluted the first marching unit of uniformed personnel leading the parade. We expected and really appreciated the display of military motor vehicles which followed.
A Pottstown Fourth of July Parade would not seem right without numerous fire companies participating. This year, though, it happened. Amity's huge truck pulled out of line, sounded full blast its siren, and headed west in the east bound lane passing about half of the parade in its duty to fight a fire in the fire house's district. A couple of West Pottsgrove units followed suit shortly after.
I my mind, the "Best of Show" went to the outfit from Macungie who stole the show with their miniature cars that went like "a bat out of hell" and did some trick maneuvers along with their speed. Maybe, it was the weather, but I expected more floats in the parade. The bagpipers, though dwindling in numbers, still send chills up and down my spine as my ancestry shows through.
Everyone enjoys the Boyertown Alumni Band as the calliope steamed the parade to a close.
A surprise to me and, I imagine to most viewers, it seems like a battle royal has begun. Moving in unison down the street, we always expect large groups of political supporters working the crowds with paper handouts, and we weren't disappointed this year. It wasn't this, though; it was the battle of the print media between The Mercury and The Reading Eagle.
I can't ever remember The Reading Eagle entering the The Mercury's domaine, especially, in such an in your face presence; namely, in a parade, a truly Pottstown tradition. I once asked the Eagle about delivery here and their reply was that they wouldn't deliver into Pottstown and start a war with the Mercury and we don't expect them to enter our territory. Boundaries set, seem now to be erased. The Mercury, for the first time, made its presence felt by being a parade participant. I doubt if this is the Pearl Harbor of WW3 but it is certainly firing some softening shots by both sides. How this unfolds will define our area for a long time coming and I lust, in my dwindling years, for its outcome.
Ronald C. Downie