So they say that Canonsburg, PA is home to the “second largest 4th of July parade in Pennsylvania.” Get excited, people. This is a big parade!!! Having lived a short distance from the town of Canonsburg for my entire life, it now seems odd that this year was only my second time at the second largest 4th of July parade in Pennsylvania. But alas, it is true.
Well, this year, my son being almost two years old and quite the fire truck enthusiast, I was determined to make it to the parade.
It did not disappoint. My husband and I got the morning activities going at our house with a goal in mind. There was a threat of rain in the sky, so we stuffed our rain jackets into a backpack and loaded up the car with breakfast items to go. No later than 9:30AM, we arrived in downtown Canonsburg, navigated a parking spot, and joined the rest of the parade-goers walking up to the main street.
(By the way, this is my son’s “smile for the camera.” Oh boy.)
I don’t know if this is a far-reaching truth, but in the greater Pittsburgh area, folding chairs and lawn chairs are a meaningful tool for temporarily staking one’s claim to a piece of property. When the snow arrives in this part of the country, a folding chair can hold your parking spot all day, to ensure that a neighbor doesn’t dare park in the one spot that you painstakingly shoveled out on the street. On the Fourth of July in Canonsburg, a lawn chair can hold your parade viewing spot on the sidewalk like nothing else.
On the third of July, you can go ahead and set out the appropriate number of chairs for your family, join them all together with a rope (I believe the rope is optional), and then relax at home knowing that you can show up anytime the next morning with your premium parade-viewing spot locked in, like you’re king of the parade.
I wish I had gotten a photo of this for you, but I confess my morning parade excitement got the better of me. (Next year I will get a photo!)
Well, we didn’t set out any lawn chairs, folding chairs, or chairs of any kind, but we still managed to squeeze in with everyone on the sidewalk, and it all worked out. Once the parade began at 10AM, we enjoyed the show for a full two hours, before packing up and heading home for lunch and nap time. The parade was still going when we left, but our toddler had soaked in as many trucks and bands as he could handle for one big morning.
There were fire trucks, police cars, sports cars, school bands, button box bands, pipe and drum bands, dance schools, church groups, corporate floats, veterans, politicians, clowns, unicyclists, the Pirate Parrot, the Penguins Iceberg, the county fair queen, Uncle Sam on stilts, dogs, balloons, the most massive tow truck one has ever seen, people giving out water out of the back of an appliance store truck. It was a spectacle of great celebration.
If you ever find yourself near Canonsburg, PA on Independence Day, set out your chair, or live on the edge like us and just show up on the 4th for standing room only. You can be neighbor 6,001.
How do you celebrate the Fourth of July? What is your town’s parade like? Comment on this post and let me know.