Tuesday July 3, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- On the eve of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade, organizers are making a final push for donations toward its $85,000 goal.

To date, the parade committee has received more than $60,000 -- $5,000 within the past 10 days, according to parade coordinator Peter M. Marchetti.

Marchetti on Monday credited a surge in contributions in part because of increased online contributions through the committee's website for the first time.

He noted the fundraising effort is ahead of last year's pace as of July 3, possibly due to a lack of competition.

"We've been wondering if last year we were competing with the city's 250th [anniversary] event and other organizers raising money," Marchetti said.

In an effort to reach the goal, the "bucket brigade" of about 12 parade volunteers will again walk the route one hour before the parade, asking spectators to drop what cash they can into red, white and blue pails. Organizers say the solicitation usually garners about $6,000.

The parade will begin at the intersection of South and West Housatonic streets at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and follow a route established three years ago. The participants will march straight from South Street to North Street via the southbound lane and proceed from North to Wahconah Street, ending at Wahconah Park.

The 150 marching units feature area military veterans organizations, police and fire departments, several hot air balloons, 21 local and regional bands as well as 10 floats. In addition, a host of political dignitaries led by Gov. Deval L. Patrick and Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi are expected to march in the parade.

"Movie Classics" is the parade theme, paying homage to Berkshire County's heritage that that has inspired movies in recent years. Organizers expect several floats to represent a classic movie or movie characters and the marching bands to play music selected from soundtracks of the silver screen.

In keeping with the theme, four current and former downtown movie theaters are the grand marshals. Parade officials expect representatives from The Beacon Cinema, Colonial Theatre, Barrington Stage Co. and the Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum to march in the parade.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.



If you go ...

What: Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade

When: 10 a.m. Wednesday

Where: Intersection of South and West Housatonic streets, up North Street to Wahconah Street, ending at Wahconah Park.

TV coverage: Pittsfield Community Television will broadcast the parade via Time Warner Cable's Channel 16 in Pittsfield, Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge, Great Barrington and Sheffield. Time Warner viewers in North Adams, Adams, Cheshire and Clarksburg can catch the parade on Channel 15.