SCHENECTADY – Scrapped last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 52nd Schenectady Holiday Parade is a go for 5 p.m. Nov. 20, on its customary date of the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Mayor Gary McCarthy confirmed Thursday.
“We’re still monitoring the conditions that exist,” McCarthy said in acknowledgment of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
“We’d hoped that the recovery would be better than what it is today, even though, with the higher vaccination rates, generally Schenectady is in pretty good shape,” McCarthy said of the decision to go forward with the parade.
A planning meeting will be held at The Daily Gazette next week or the week after, “trying to just get everything lined up so people can come out and have a good time and enjoy the amenities in downtown Schenectady,” McCarthy said.
Meanwhile, the pun will be intended concerning this year’s theme of “superheroes – the super in your heroes,” according to Bob O’Leary, vice president of advertising for The Daily Gazette, a major sponsor and organizer.
Parade-goers can attend in costume as one of the former, such as Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman, O’Leary said.
Or they can opt to dress as, say, a firefighter, nurse or first responder “to recognize all of the people who have done great work the last year and a half” of the pandemic, O’Leary said.
“It needs to be fun; it needs to be upbeat,” O’Leary said of its tie-in with the pandemic. “Tens of thousands of people line the streets and watch these members of the community march, play instruments, and it’s just a great event.”
Longtime sponsor Price Chopper/Market 32 will continue in that role.
“Price Chopper/Market 32’s commitment to this community is well known and sponsoring the Holiday Parade is another great example of how they give back to the community,” O’Leary said.
Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer services for Price Chopper/Market 32, will again serve as the master of ceremonies and announce the parade.
After delighting parade-goers with a piggybank-themed float in its first appearance in 2019, First New York Federal Credit Union will also assume a role as sponsor, O’Leary said.
People or groups and organizations that want to march are asked to contact Daily Gazette events coordinator Kathleen (Kaci) Palleschi at [email protected]
Merritt Dance Center of Schenectady has been involved since the beginning.