By: Kayla Miller
The town had been blocked off for hours in order to line up all the parade participants. The crowd of people that had bundled up to enjoy the parade was lined up on both sides of the street. Everyone was waving and smiling at all the participants making their way through town even though they were shivering. The rosy cheeked children were laughing and racing each other to get to the candy that was thrown at them.
The Meyersdale Police Department had started off the parade followed by the Meyersdale Volunteer Fire Department. One of the biggest hits of the parade was of course the fire departments. The children stood at the edge of the street waving and yelling for the fireman to blow their truck horns. Some of the participants from fire departments included Meyersdale, Salisbury, Somerset and Berlin all from Pennsylvania, Grantsville, Eastern Garrett County and Frostburg all from Maryland were some of the volunteer fire departments that were in the parade.
The Maple Festival holds a scholarship pageant for high school seniors from the area. There were 16 princesses this year. The parade was full of bright and shiny convertibles driving them through the parade in their gowns. The Pageant float brought through this year’s Maple Queen Ranita Bowers-Thomas a senior at Berlin Brothersvalley High School in Berlin Pennsylvania. Abigail Homa 5 from Meyersdale Pennsylvania said, “I hope to be the maple queen when I get bigger because they wear big pretty gowns.” Everyone was excited, jumping and waving as the queen made her way through the parade.
Steven Homa a local and member of the Meyersdale Volunteer Fire Department said, “I have a great time driving the engine though the parade with my wife and daughter. The parade crowd this year was smaller than what it has been in the past but this could be due to the weather.”
Scott Deal had said, “This is my first time here at the festival, I came as a young child but do not remember much. If the weather had been nicer I believe the crowd would have been much greater. The parade was nice I enjoyed the high school bands, the old cars, military personnel groups and every other participant. I also, enjoyed going to Festival Park where I watched how maple candy was made and walking through the old county store.”
After the hour long parade the town quickly cleared out of all the people. Many made their way to the Fire Department to get warm, socialize and eat as others made their way to the various food vendors and Festival Park.
The crowd may not have been as big as previous years due to the cold weather but it still brought people from all over to share in the Maple Festival Festivities. The sweetest place on earth still brought out the sweetness in everyone. If you want to know more about the Pennsylvania Maple Festival visit their webpage at http://www.pamaplefestival.com/.