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Some Glenside residents start setting up their chairs the day before, to ensure a good view. That’s part of the tradition, says Jamey Piggott, president of the Greater Glenside Patriotic Association, the group that organizes Glenside’s Fourth of July events.
The Glenside parade has been running for 120 years — one of the oldest Fourth of July parade in the Philadelphia region and in the country.
The area, which lies within Cheltenham and Abington townships in Montgomery County, has dubbed itself as the “July Fourth capital of the East and beyond,” Piggott says.
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The parade includes 20 musical acts and 40 entertainment acts in total, from five different states. It’s an “eclectic” mix, said Piggot, “which we are very proud of.”
Acts include the Philadelphia Mummers’ Fralinger String Band, the Marching Cobras drill and dance team from the Bronx, and the San Simón Caporales Bolivian-American dancers and musicians from Alexandria, Virginia.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ Philly Phanatic will make an appearance, sponsored by Glenside’s Daryl’s Pastries and Ralph’s Barber Shop. Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, who grew up in Abington Township, is also walking the parade.
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The celebration began as a firemen’s parade, said Piggott, and has grown to be more about entertainment. But keeping with the tradition, the parade’s grand marshal this year is retired Weldon Fire Company chief, Charles “Bud” Gerhard III. He served the Weldon Fire Company for 42 years.
The marching begins at 4 p.m. through the center of Glenside. It starts at Edge Hill and Jenkintown roads, travels East on Jenkintown Road, south on Easton Road, east on Waverly Road, and ends at Renninger Memorial Park at Waverly Road and Keswick Ave.
The day closes with fireworks at 9 p.m. at Abington High School.
Editors note: A previous version of this story misstated the event’s standing as the oldest in the Philly region.
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