Circleville, with a population of fewer than 1400, came to life for its annual July 4 parade last Thursday.
Humid, some would even say sticky air, hot early morning sun and even a slightly delayed start to the proceedings did little to quell enthusiasm for the annual event.
With a combination of local leaders such as Councilman Neil Meyer, local veterans such as American Legion #1181 commander Jim Scali, community and youth organizations such as girl Scout Troops 122 & 099 and of course the general public, a seemingly all-inclusive comprehensive sample of everything the areas population has to offer was well represented.
“This is something fun for the entire community,” Walt Szulwaen, Circleville fire chief said. “I’ve been involved in this for over 20-years and it really is just a great event for the community.”
The march began shortly after 10 a.m. from the school parking lot, before proceeding down Renton Road. It then made a right onto Goshen Turnpike, before turning left onto 302. It marched past Creamery Rd to Sam Fast Lane where it made a right before finally proceeding to its end point of Circleville Park; also known as C. Hudson Thompson Memorial Park, where food and refreshments were provided courtesy of the Circleville Volunteer Fire Company.
Among the sites and scenes were a 1957 Chevy Belair, bounce houses for the kids and a slew of sweet treats - candy thrown from the various marchers. The candy mix consisted of a mix of chocolate treats like miniature Butterfingers, Hershey Bars and Tootsie Rolls, to sugar candies like Jolly Ranchers, lollipops and skittles.
Circleville Church was on hand with a combination car and trailer which had a sign promoting its free vacation bible school which is from August 5-9. There were also a half dozen bagpipers on hand.
Patriotic dress and items were abound including one parade goer dressed head to toe in american flag red, white and blue stripes, complete with top hat.
Councilman Neil Meyer was on hand to help with and take in the annual festivities.
“We are about promoting everything in the town of Wallkill,” Meyer said. “The Town of Wallkill Community group and the Wallkill Youth Coalition are two such organizations within Wallkill that we like to highlight.”
According to Circleville assistant fire chief Kevin Holland, a 20-year veteran of the force, the parade has been an annual tradition since at least the 1920s. And as with many long-standing traditions, community support and participation is key to sustaining.
“It’s really cool to see the whole town come out,” Gregg Weiss, a longtime area resident said. “You really get a big sense of community with this.” In fact, I think more people show up to this than show up to vote.”