PITTSFIELD — It was an event over two years in the making.
A spirited crowd lined the streets for a parade that ran nearly two hours Monday up North Street. Parade-goers were treated to a procession of elaborate floats, music ranging from fife and drum to “Don’t Stop Believin’” and revelry celebrating American history.
The parade comes after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, it was a return to a decades-long tradition. For others, it was a first.
But for nearly all, the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade offered a welcome return to form for Pittsfield, bringing smiling faces together on a nearly flawless morning.
- By Aina de Lapparent Alvarez, The Berkshire Eagle
Here are some of the people we met:
Phil Shallies has never marched in a parade before.
On Monday, he was tasked with carrying a banner along the parade’s route. He had help from a friend, Mike Melle. Janie Ray, Shallies' girlfriend of 30 years, was with him every step of the way. But he knows the walk is about more than just himself.
Shallies, a mechanic who restores vintage cars, is blind. He walked on behalf of a cause important to him and for an organization that joined the parade for the first time: the Berkshire Benevolent Association for the Blind.