Associate Features Editor
October 14th, a crisp, early fall morning and people of the town of Millersville are already beginning to line up for the annual community parade even before 8:30 am. Children and adults alike anxiously await its start, crossing the empty street and making nostalgic small talk with neighbors. The children, many decked out in costumes or their finest Autumn clothes giggle as their parents attempt to settle them down. A pair of girls hit together balloons simultaneously to the beat of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” which is playing over the loud speakers. Soon, the street is fully lined on both sides by a sizable audience about as far as the eye can see.
After an exasperated security guard directs several times for onlookers to clear the road, the parade makes its way down North George street slightly past 9 o’clock. The march kicks off with Millersville University’s own ROTC, many in the audience stand and clap as they pass, carrying flags representing the United States, and this trend continues as separate military and veteran groups pass by throughout the parade. The University cheerleaders and marching band show off their skills, and members of the local police and fire departments hand out stickers and flags. Marching bands from several high schools including Penn Manor, Conestoga Valley, and Perryville strutting their skills. The parade is a surprising mix of displays such as the Temple Guard Drill Team, the Polish American String Band, a local church dressed as Vegetables, the sassy Drummers with Attitude, and even a very enthusiastic Domino’s Pizza boy perched atop one of the delivery cars. A young troop of boy scouts, a troop of girl scouts dressed as Star Wars characters, WGAL New 8, and several Political Organizations made their way down North George Street as well.
This year’s parade theme was animation, and along with all the interesting and talented groups that marched the audience was provided entertainment by several favorite mascots; Skully the Parrot, the Philly Phanatic, and even Smokey the Bear each made appearances. The most enjoyed part of the parade, however, appeared to be when a larger than life dinosaur stomped down the street, attempting to make a meal out of several onlookers and one brave boy dressed as Captain America.
Overall, the parade was a very enjoyable experience for all ages, and highlighted the extremely diverse Millersville and surrounding communities that people call Home.