ALPLAUS – Dozens of people, some standing, some sitting in lawn chairs, but many dressed in red, white and blue, lined Alplaus Avenue just in front of the Alplaus Volunteer Fire Department where they cheered watching the Alplaus Fourth of July parade Monday.
The parade has been going on since 1975, according to Jessica Polmateer, the hamlet’s historian and also the grand marshal of the parade, alongside her husband Garry Polmateer.
“It’s such a huge honor,” Jessica Polmateer said about being a grand marshal and also being nominated with her husband for citizens of the year. “Alplaus is a magical place.”
Jessica Polmateer said she grew up in Alplaus on Riverview Road and went to the parade over the years. When she was pregnant with one of her kids, she said she always wanted to find a home in Alplaus because of the community. Garry Polmateer said the community–the neighbors–are what make Alplaus special.
“The most amazing thing is the neighbors,” he said. “We’ve made lifelong friends.”
“Your friends become family,” Jessica Polmateer said.
The parade started off small, with only a few fire trucks and a garbage truck, but then grew in size over the years, Jessica Polmateer said.
But this year’s parade featured several fire departments, including Alplaus, Glenville Hill, Thomas Corners and Rexford fire departments. It also had a marching band from Ballston Spa, the Glenville Police Department and The Ragtime Windjammers.
The windjammers were one of Scarlett Sitors’ favorite parts of the parade, according to her family, who said the 2-year-old liked dancing as the band played music.
It was the Sitors’ first time going to the parade, said Tom Sitors.
“We usually go to the Clifton Park one,” he said.
But this year, their 6-year-old son Carter got to ride with Glenville Police Chief Stephen Janik in his car, which led the parade.
Tom Sitors and his wife Marisa Sitors said they’d probably keep going to the Alplaus parade year after year.
“It’s more of a hometown feel,” the Sitors said.
Grandparents Earlyne and Tony Daddario said they liked seeing the cars in the parade.
For 7-year-old Olivia Sitors, all the candy being thrown out was one of her favorite parts of the parade. There were lollipos and Tootsie Rolls, and one group even handed out freeze pops.
After the parade, 2-year-old Avery Godlweski enjoyed hanging out in her stroller after watching her dad, Glenville Town Board member Mike Godlewski walk in the parade.
“I love coming to the parade and then to have your son in the parade is the icing on the cake,” said Anne Godlewski, Mike Godlewski’s mom, who was there with Godlewski’s wide Alicia and family friend Mary Fitch.
Fitch and Ann Godlewski also said they both liked the windjammers too.
Also there to watch family in the parade was Katie Ronk, her partner David Carleton and their 3-year-old daughter Norah Carleton who watched her big sister 11-year-old Haven Carleton ride in the parade with her grandfather Clyde Ronk in a triumph spitfire. It was the family’s first time at the event.
Also in the parade was Michael Frisone with the Rexford Fire Department. His wife Jennifer Frisone and two children, 2-year-old Luke and 4-year-old Maria, and Jennifer’s mother Rose MacMillan all came to support him in the parade.
Maria Frisone said she loved seeing her dad and the big trucks, while Jessica Frisone said her son loved waving his American flag.
“It’s a nice small parade, so it’s not overwhelming for the kids,” Jennifer Frisone said.