Fulton County

Johnstown gears up for holiday parade

More than 70 floats and motor vehicles will make their way through the city Friday during the annual

More than 70 floats and motor vehicles will make their way through the city Friday during the annual Classic Image Johnstown Holiday Parade.

Parade organizer Karen Coppola said she is expecting a large turnout for the parade, which runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

“Even though Johnstown is a relatively small city, the parade is pretty big,” she said. “There will be a wide variety of floats, and we are expecting some really cool ones this year.”

Johnstown Mayor Michael Julius said the parade is good for the city and kicks off the holiday season.

“Parents and families really seem to enjoy it, and it is a lot of fun,” Julius said. “I am looking forward to it.”

Coppola said she has prepared 5,000 bags of candy to hand out to children along the parade route, which will begin on Madison Street and end at the Johnstown Community Center.

“We like to give out candy to the kids to give them something that they can take home and remember the parade by,” she said.

Coppola said participants in the parade will be treated to free refreshments after the event at the Johnstown Moose Club.

This is the 10th edition of the parade, an event Coppola started in 2004.

“It is a tiring, exhausting process, but it has been very rewarding,” she said. “I am happy to be able to do it.”

Though area residents may enjoy watching the parade, they are not donating money to keep it alive. Coppola said the parade has not been receiving as many donations from the public as it once did.

“I have been using my own money more and more, but I don’t know how long I can keep that up,” she said. “If I have to keep digging into my own pocket, I don’t know how long this parade will go on.”

Though the parade is fast approaching, Coppola said the public and businesses can still send donations to: Classic Image Johnstown Holiday Parade, P.O. Box 245, Johnstown, NY 12095. The public can also drop off checks at her business, Belle Fiori, at 58 E. Main St.

“The donations help to offset the costs of the parade, such as insurance and advertising,” she said.

The parade is privately run and receives no money from the city. The Daily Gazette is the corporate sponsor of the event.

Coppola also noted spectators can bring dry food goods to donate. A truck, followed by other parade participants along the route, will collect the items.

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