Annual Fourth Of July Parade Attracts Thousands

<p>The drum major of the NY Fire and Police Band greets some young fans.</p>OSWEGO, NY – Families and friends packed both sides of West Bridge Street for Oswego’s 45th Annual 4th of July Parade on Sunday.

It was a warm sunny day, but a light breeze made it perfect to sit by the side of the road and watch the parade go by.

The parade came up West First at 1 p.m. and headed west on Bridge Street. Normally, the parade route begins several blocks to the east. However, with the bridge being out this year, the length of the route was curtailed.

No one seemed to mind, however. Many people have been attending the annual parade for years.

For some it is a tradition to arrive several hours before the parade and stake out their favorite spots using lawn furniture and blankets. There is an unwritten parade law that you don’t disturb a location someone has already claimed.

Those who did arrive early, anticipating a large mob because of the transplanted eastsiders had nothing to worry about. The westside parade route was more than adequate to swallow up all the parade watchers.

Representatives of Oswego Health’s Sun Patrol passed out sunscreen.

The sun patrol was established in 1990 when Nurse Practitioner, Nancy Dowd, a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department of Oswego Hospital at the time, noticed that there were many children coming into the emergency department with severe and sometimes second-degree sun burns following the Fourth of July parade.

Trucks, floats, and police cars were aplenty as well as a few shows such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (July 17, 18 and 19 at G. Ray Bodley High School) and the Rising Stars 2008 Summer Theatre Experience (288-5052).

Among the marching bands were the pride of Oswego the Marching Buccaneers, the Hannibal Central School marching Warriors, the NY Fire and Police Marching Band, the Towpath Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps from Macedon, and the Island Band, which got the crowd in a festive spirit with its rendition of Conga.

Many groups threw candy to the crowd, which children dove after with gusto.

Dozens of American flags were also handed out to highlight the patriotic theme of the day.

There were also several vendors walking up and down the street selling SnoCones, balloons, and hotdogs to the hungry crowd.

To ensure the crowd didn’t get overheated, members of various marching units sprayed people along the route with cool water.

The celebration concluded Sunday evening with a fireworks display.