A patriotic celebration

Lower Southampton Township announces theme of its annual Independence Day Parade

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

Get ready to wave your American flags and get decked out in red, white and blue. Lower Southampton Township is hosting its annual Independence Day Parade on Tuesday, July 4 in Feasterville, and recently announced its patriotic 2017 theme of “A Star Spangled Celebration.”

America!: The theme of this year’s Lower Southampton parade will be “A Star Spangled Celebration” and will feature music and entertainment. PHOTO: Lower Southampton Township

For more than 30 years, locals of Lower Southampton have enjoyed celebrating the country’s momentous day in history with entertainment, competitions and tributes. Past themes include “America the Beautiful,” “Hats Off to the USA,” “Lower Southampton Salutes the Men and Women of Our Armed Forces” and “Dancing in the Streets.” According to event chairmen Bob DiBenedetto and Ed Shannon, this year’s parade promises to be unforgettable.

New this year, Miss Pennsylvania USA Cassandra Angst will make an appearance, and entertainment will be provided by the Philadelphia Eagles Pep Band as well as three Mummers string bands — South Philadelphia, Greater Kensington and Uptown. Attendees will experience more music than ever before with performances by country and western entertainer Jody King, the Boogie Dogs Band and the Jazz Vespers Dixieland Band. Additional entertainment will be provided by the Andalusia Jug Band, Tri-County Band, DJB Jug Band, Then Came Man Band and the St. Calumcille United Gaelic Pipe Band.

Two of the major highlights will be the baby and bicycle competitions. Registration for these events will take place at Wage Electric on Bustleton Pike on the day of the parade. There will also be special prizes for the best floats.

Local and visiting fire departments, along with their own array of colorful floats, will be part of the excitement. Federal, state, county and local government representatives will be parading, and the Lower Southampton Police Department honor guard will display and carry America’s colors.

Also marching will be representatives from Action Karate, Leaps-N Bounders and Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts, as well as various local groups and organizations. These include the boys and girls teams from the Lower Southampton Athletic Association, the Neshaminy High School Cheerleaders, the Friends of the Lower Southampton Library, the Playwicki Farm Foundation, Wet Nose Rescue, Lulu Shriners, members of Sean/Me, the American Red Cross, the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment, Lower Southampton Veterans Advisory Board, Lower Southampton Animal Control Advisory Board, the Scottsville United Methodist Church and the Lower Southampton Neighborhood Watch.

The Feasterville Business Association, which has been involved with the parade from the beginning, will be represented with its beautiful Belgium horse-drawn wagon and its three annual scholarship winners, Valerie Kelmansky of Langhorne, and Maria Calderon and Neel Patel of Feasterville. The FBA is the lead sponsor of this year’s parade.

Since the public is invited free of charge, business owners and individuals are always invited to become sponsors. Everyone who participates with a sponsorship of $100 or more will receive a certificate of appreciation and a prominent identification in the book given to all spectators. Larger sponsorship opportunities are also available to local businesses.

“Without generosity and support from our wonderful sponsors, we would not be able to stage this exciting and entertaining parade and celebration for everyone to enjoy,” said DiBenedetto and Shannon.

This year’s parade book cover was designed by Tracy Lin, an eighth-grader at Poquessing Middle School, whose design was deemed the winner by the parade committee in the student art cover design contest. Lin received a commendation and a $100 award from the committee. Runners-up were Ekaterina Tishina, a fourth-grader at Ferdebar Elementary School and Bernadette Richie, a seventh-grader at St. Katherine Drexel Regional School. Each received commendations and $50 awards for their designs.

The Lower Southampton Independence Day Parade will begin at 1 p.m. at Second Street and Bustleton pikes in Feasterville and move north on Route 213 Bridgetown Pike to the Lower Southampton Intermediate School and the Lower Southampton Township grounds. Volunteers are needed to help set up and serve as marshals for the event. The rain date is Saturday, July 8.

For additional information about sponsorship opportunities, event participation or volunteering, contact Connie Perry at Lower Southampton Township at 215–357–7300, extension 301. ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com