It’s as good an invitation today as it was in 1913, when a Springfield Center correspondent to a local newspaper on July 2 wrote, “Celebrate the Fourth of July by coming to town and enjoying our celebration and inauguration day.” That particular celebration was one that sparked an idea for something much bigger the next year. That event, the Springfield Fourth of July Parade, is now set to celebrate its 100th anniversary tomorrow.
In recent years, the Springfield Fourth of July Parade has been a lengthy and festive event to enjoy, followed by an afternoon celebration of food and events at the Springfield Community Center. But according to Deb Miller, parade committee chairwoman, the planning committee has pulled out all the stops to make the centennial celebration bigger than ever. In fact, the day will not only stretch into the evening, it will continue on Saturday.
“We’ve been planning the 100th anniversary as far back as six months before last year’s 99th annual parade,” Miller said.
Based on the schedule of events in the two-day celebration, the committee has needed the extra time to prepare.
The theme of the upcoming parade is simple, “100 Years,” and Thomas Armstrong, former town supervisor, will lead the parade as grand marshal. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Spectators are strongly encouraged to take advantage of parking at the Glimmerglass Festival parking area on state Route 80, as a free shuttle to the parade will be provided. Miller said riders of the shuttle will receive a souvenir of the 100th anniversary that no one else will get that day.
Andrea House, a committee member, said spectators can expect more music and floats than ever before. A couple of special musical performances in the parade will include the Camden Continentals Fife and Drum Corps and the Cherry Valley-Springfield Alumni Band. The celebration to follow at the Springfield Community Center will also be bigger than ever, including music by the Cooperstown Community Band and performer Fritz Henry, a slideshow and exhibit by the Springfield Historical Society, the third annual Fourth of July Quilt Show, a visit by the Utica Zoomobile, bounce houses, games, displays, photos, raffles, souvenirs and a wide array of food. All concessions support local not-for-profit organizations, run by local volunteers.