Oldies But Goodies show to raise money for Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade

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PITTSFIELD — Election season has been a tense one for the city, but the annual Fourth of July Parade is an event that unites us all.

On Friday and Saturday, the Oldies But Goodies variety show "Cruisin' with The Oldies" will raise money for the parade, which struggled financially in recent years. The show starts at 7 both nights at Taconic High School.

Pittsfield Police Officer Darren Derby will appear in the show as a special guest. The event also features a raffle and silent auction.

Tickets are nonrefundable and cost $20 each; they are available at the door and in advance through cast members, at Wood Bros. Music and online at pittsfieldparade.com. Proceeds benefit the city's annual Fourth of July Parade, and a donation will be made to Operation Copsicle.

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Peter Marchetti, president of the Pittsfield Parade Committee, raised flags last year as organizers headed into key preparation months tight on money. If the community didn't kick in at least $85,000, he said at the time, then the 2019 parade would have been the last.

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With gifts this year totaling $133,141 as of Aug. 1, the committee surpassed that goal, according to the committee.

"Now, what we need to do is sustain that into the future," Marchetti said, nothing that in order to ensure the future of the parade, the committee should enter each parade year with enough money to cut contracts in advance of the current year's parade.

With that goal already achieved, he said, this weekend's fundraisers will bank money for the 2021 parade.

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Tens of thousands from the Berkshires and beyond flock each year to the parade, which long has been hailed as one of the largest in the region. Meeting the same level of expectation has been a challenge as costs incrementally rose, organizers say, citing inflating costs for helium, postage, insurance and travel.

The parade started losing money in 2010, but the biggest blow came in 2015, when the committee lost more than $15,000 — fundraising brought in $60,223 and costs came to $75,624.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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