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Clifton Park parade marches on despite the heat

Clifton Park parade marches on despite the heat

Temperatures over 90 degrees could not prevent local groups from carrying on in Clifton Park's Fourth of July Parade.
Clifton Park parade marches on despite the heat
Makenna, 3, and Kadyn Carr, 6, of Clifton Park wave to firefighters in the town's annual July 4 parade.
Photographer: Erica Miller

CLIFTON PARK — Temperatures in the 90s and sizzling pavement along Route 146 could not halt the Clifton Park Fourth of July Parade. 

In fact, some attendees came all the way from the very country whose ouster was being celebrated.

"I love it here because I'm a fan of your weather," said Denise Pierson of Darlington, England. "The life that the people have here, which in the summertime, obviously, is a lovely outdoor life, especially on days like this, and the people are absolutely lovely."

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While the irony was not lost on the Pierson family that they were celebrating a particularly un-British holiday, they were looking forward to other festivities at Clifton Common after the parade and fireworks at night. 

Denise and her husband, Colin, were in the region to visit their son Darren, who works as a physical therapist in Clifton Park. While they have spent several summers in the States visiting their son, this is their first time being in the country for the Fourth of July. 

"It's all because you have the weather," Denise said of why they chose to come earlier for the Fourth this year. "We have summer [in the U.K.], but not like this summer. ... Everybody is geared-up [for the Fourth of July], where you wouldn't get to something like this in England." 

Adding to the festive atmosphere for the Pierson family was England's World Cup victory over Colombia on Tuesday. Colin wore his England team kit to the parade — perhaps a bold move — as a delayed celebration. 

"I was at work [during the match], but I saw the highlights," he said. 

For many of the Americans at the parade who routinely celebrate the Fourth of July, it was easy for the mood to be rather subdued given the heat. 

"I wish they would start it earlier," Teresa Terranova said of the parade and the midday heat. 

Despite the balmy temperatures, Terranova and her husband, Carmen, bore the conditions in covered lawn chairs armed with slushies in the cup holder. The parade took on a special meaning for them as their grandchildren marched for the Boy Scouts. 

"Most of the people here probably have someone in the parade, otherwise you wouldn't put up with it," Carmen joked. 

As local chapters of groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, AMVETS and a set of Corvette buffs rolled in behind bagpipers and a vintage state trooper patrol vehicle, otherwise sun-fatigued children began to run rampant when the prospect of free candy emerged on the horizon. 

Town Supervisor Phil Barrett took note, and made an early campaign promise to the tykes. 

"Candy's comin'!" he shouted out to the kids.

Moments later, smarties and tootsie rolls rained down upon the kids to the tune of "You're a Grand Old Flag" sung by Girl Scouts marching by.  

 

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