Richard Allen has seen it all before. Nearly 50 times in fact. The vintage cars, the Boy Scouts marching, the fire trucks and the high school band — it’s nothing new to him.
But each year as he watches the Founders Day parade in the hamlet of Charlton, he is filled with a sense of community.
“Everyone here gets involved in this parade,” he said Sunday while standing on county Route 51. “The whole community and people from surrounding neighborhoods and counties come. We really take some great pride in it.”
Allen said he enjoys seeing new equipment that local fire departments are showing off and also taking a peek at some of the vintage cars in the parade.
“Being that I am an engineer by education, I really enjoy that kid of stuff,” he said. “The attendance of the parade may have shrunk since I started coming, but it’s still going pretty strong.”
Todd Turnbull was sporting Civil War regalia at the parade, informing event-goers about the war and his uniform.
“There were a lot of people from this county and the surrounding ones who fought in the war,” he said.
Turnbull gave demonstrations on how to load his .58-caliber rifle, showing people the lengthy process that soldiers went through to fire their weapon.
“The good soldiers could fire about three shots a minute,” he said, noting that it takes about 20 seconds to reload.
Richard Zimmer was sitting on his front lawn as participants in the parade prepared their cars and floats.
“I have seen quite a few of these,” he said. “It hasn’t really changed much since it all started.”
Zimmer added that the whole community is involved in the parade, which creates a “pleasant” atmosphere in the neighborhood.
Two state legislators, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, and Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, both said the parade is one of their favorite events to attend.
“This is a great community with great passion for their history and heritage,” Tedisco said as he walked in the parade. “I have been coming here for quite some time. It’s great to see the turnout and all the people that are supporting.”
“I love coming to this parade,” he said. “Seeing all the vintage cars and the emergency responders getting recognized for the great work they do is amazing.”
Dennis Ireland of Charlton said he hopes that younger people in the community take pride in the parade and keep it alive for many years to come.
“Every year the crowd seems to get a little bit older, but I hope that younger people realize the importance of this and understand what it means to have this in our community.”
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