By Jimmy McCarthy
BROCTON - The celebration of 200 years continued Sunday afternoon as the parade consisting of floats, fire trucks and classic cars rolled down East Main Street. The crowd clapped for every participant in the parade while children stood along the road waiting for candy to hit the ground.
The parade started at Lake Avenue where they made the turn onto East Main Street toward the arch. From there the parade continued down toward American Legion John Dill Post 434 and finished by turning into Brocton Central School.
Photo by Jimmy McCarthy
Fire Trucks lined the streets as children waited for the throwing of candy.
The parade was comprised of the Brocton legion honor guard, World War II veterans, Beta Sigma sorority group and two 100-year-old ladies riding in a classic Impala. Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell also took part in the procession as they walked and waved to the ones watching.
"Happy birthday Town of Portland," Senator Young said after the parade. "I am just thrilled to be here. That was a great parade. We have a special community here. It's one that is very unique. And the reason it is unique is not just because of our history and our heritage, but it's because of our people. People who work so hard and help their neighbors, especially in times in need. You've heard me say this: I travel all over the state for my job, and every time I come home, I am very grateful for many reasons. But I am most grateful because I am fortunate enough to represent the best part of Western New York. Congratulations and I will see you in another 200 years.
Senator Young continued by acknowledging the individuals who turned 100 years old by having the crowd sing happy birthday. Of the 100 year-olds in attendance for the events this weekend along with the parade was Marguerite Smith.
Commenting on the weekend events, she stated that she had lots of fun and enjoyed beign a part of the parade very much.
Many fire trucks from different stations honked their horns and put on their sirens. Stations represented included Sinclairville, Gerry, Sheridan, West Dunkirk and Forestville. Numerous classic cars paraded including a '66 Chrysler New Yorker, '66 Mustang GT, and 1950 Chevy 6400. Performances throughout the parade were done by Brocton cheerleading, Outlaws cheerleading, and Chadwick Bay Buccaneers Bugle and Drum Corps.
Young mentioned the many volunteers who worked hard and helped make the weekend of events successful. Nearly 100 volunteers spent many hours setting up for the event and making sure it all went smoothly.
"I want to thank everyone for your community spirit," Young said. "I especially want to thank the countless volunteers the committee people who worked so hard to put this entire year's festivity together. I know that you really rolled up your sleeves and worked very hard."
Assemblyman Goodell congratulated the community and citizens for 200 years and continuing. He noted how the communities of Brocton and Portland are strong and vibrant.
"We are here to celebrate 200 years of rich, proud, productive history," Goodell said. "The town of Portland and village of Brocton has produced great people. But in my opinion, the best is yet to come. I am looking forward to seeing you in another hundred years as we celebrate the great progress in Portland and Brocton. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this."
County executive Greg Edwards could not be attendance for the event, but he did send a proclamation for the Town of Portland to be presented. Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz presented the proclamation.
"200 years ago on April 9,1813, the town of Portland was founded," the proclamation stated. "From the shores of Lake Erie to the rolling hills, a town was born. Through industry and business, grape farming, storms, fires, politics, and the continued full of life, Portland sprouted to be. Today we recognize the many contributions of Portland and renew our commitement to its founding principles. We are blessed to call Portland our home. The Town of Portland officially embarks on another momentous occasionthe next 200 years."
Events at the American Legion concluded on Sunday with a performance by Sean Patrick McGraw and the retiring of colors.
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