The streets of Lower Southampton Township will be flooded in a few short weeks with locals of all ages donning red, white and blue, proudly holding American flags to the sky in a patriotic gesture.
The township is once again hosting its annual Independence Day Parade, which will commence at 1 p.m. The theme of this year’s event is “America’s Spirits are High on the 4th of July,” and the public is invited to attend at no cost.
The route begins at Second Street and Bustleton Pike in Feasterville and continues north on Route 213 Bridgetown Pike to the Lower Southampton Immediate School and the Lower Southampton Township grounds.
Entertainment was recently announced by event chairpersons Bob DiBenedetto and Ed Shannon.
“This year’s parade and patriotic salute to America will include an appearance by the Philadelphia Eagles Pep Band, as well as performances by two Mummers string bands – South Philadelphia and Uptown,” DiBenedetto said. “Also performing will be popular country and western entertainer Jody King and the Boogie Dogs Band.”
Additional entertainment will be provided by the Andalusia Jug Band, Tri-County Band, DJB Jug Band, the Bracken Cavaliers Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps and the St. Columcille United Gaelic Band.
Local and visiting fire departments, antique and classic cars, along with an array of colorful floats including the Lower Southampton Veterans Advisory Board and Wings of Freedom floats, will be part of the pageantry.
Federal, state, county and local government representatives will join the march. The Lower Southampton Police Department will display and carry America’s colors in the parade.
Also slated to march are representatives from Action Karate and Leaps-N-Bounders, as well as a host of area groups and organizations. Included are boys and girls teams from the Lower Southampton Athletic Association, Neshaminy High School cheerleaders, Cub and Boy Scout units, LuLu Shriners, and the Lower Southampton Veterans Advisory Board.
The Feasterville Business Association, the lead sponsor of the event, will be represented with its Belgium horse-drawn wagon, which will carry its college scholarship winner.
“We are always looking for more groups and organizations who wish to march in the parade,” Shannon stressed.
Two major highlights will be the baby and bicycle competitions, which allow young residents to get in on the fun. Registration for both events take place at Wage Electric on Bustleton Pike on the day of the parade. There will also be special prizes for the best and most colorful floats.
Each attendee will receive a commemorative parade book, the cover of which was designed by Marco Mazzoni, a sixth-grade student at Poquessing Middle School in Feasterville who won the township’s annual design competition. Mazzoni was recently presented with a certificate of commendation and a $100 award by Poquessing principal Joann Holland, assistant principal Timothy Hunt, and co-chairperson and township supervisor Shannon.
Samantha Fallon, a third-grader at Ferderbar Elementary School in Feasterville, earned second place. She received a certificate of commendation and $50 award from Ferderbar principal Stephanie Washam and teacher Mary McGinly.
DiBenedetto and Shannon said sponsorships are still wanted and needed. All who participate with a sponsorship of $100 or more will receive a certificate of appreciation and a prominent identification in the parade book. Larger sponsorship opportunities are also available for area businesses.
“Without the generosity and support from our wonderful sponsors, we would not be able to stage this exciting and entertaining parade spectacle for everyone to enjoy,” DiBenedetto said.
Volunteers are needed to help set up and serve as marshals for the event. For information, contact Connie Perry at Lower Southampton Township at 215-357-7300, Ext. 301. Rain date is Saturday, July 6.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com