The ninth annual Classic Image Johnstown Holiday Parade drew more than 1,000 people Friday night.
Crowds lined Main Street for blocks and waved at honking firetrucks and colorful floats. Adults cheered the U.S. Marines, there representing the Toys for Tots Program, and yelled “thank you” for their service.
Dozens of laughing children darted into the street to grab handfuls of candy thrown their way while families turned out in droves to enjoy a night out at local eateries, many of which were packed.
The 90-minute-long parade featured more than 70 organizations in six divisions. The theme was “Disney and Story Book Characters Come Alive,” with many floats designed to fit the Christmas theme.
Business was brisk for many vendors who had booths in the Sir William Johnson Park. Todd McAuley, owner of Adirondack Kettle Korn, was making his first appearance at the Johnstown parade.
“I am amazed. I did not expect it to be this busy. It is a huge crowd,” McAuley said.
Lt. Dave Gilbo of the Johnstown Police estimated the crowd at more than 1,000. He reported no incidents.
For many, the parade is a tradition.
Cindee Ashcroft of Johnstown was making her eighth appearance at the parade. She was there with her husband, Randy, and dog, Princess, a 6-year-old Australian Blue Heeler. Princess was dressed in a Santa costume.
“I love the people and the excitement,” Ashcroft said.
Ashcroft, who had some serious medical problems this year, said the parade “shows how important it is to be alive.”
Todd Mraz, his wife, Sarah, and children Morgan and Sawyer, along with Morgan’s friend Emily, made the parade a family night out. They got there an hour before the parade started and set out their chairs on the curb. Then they had dinner.
“If you want a good seat, you bring your own chair,” he said.
Morgan Mraz, 9, said the parade is fun because it gets her in the Christmas spirit. “Plus they will have candy,” she said with a smile.
This was the third Johnstown parade for the Ferraro family of Gloversville — Steve, Minnie and their 2-year-old daughter, Ariana, 4.
“We come here for her,” Steve said referring to Ariana. “It is fun,” he said.
Lt. Gilbo said police mobilized two-thirds of the department for the parade, helping to ensure the night remained calm and peaceful.
Parade sponsors were The Daily Gazette, Partners Pub, Frontier Communications, Stewart’s Shops, Ruby and Quiri and Pineview Commons. Karen Coppola organized the event.
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Categories: Schenectady County