Gleaming trucks drifted along Bellefonte’s streets to Talleyrand Park on Saturday evening as firefighters from across the county threw candy to children on the side of the streets.
This was part of the 41st annual Logan Fire Company parade that annually revolves around an Independence Day theme.
Marching groups and floats accompanied the nearly 40 units from fire departments in Centre and neighboring counties.
With the Logans’ annual carnival on hiatus, the parade was accompanied by children’s games, vendors and live entertainment in a one-day festival. The Bellefonte Band held a 45-minute concert in the park.
Longtime Bellefonte residents said this was a particularly special year for the parade after it was nearly canceled due to a lack of funding.
“I can’t imagine the parade not going on,” said Margaret Donovan, who said she annually attends the parade with her family. “We live up the street and can walk here. That’s the special thing about being from a small town — to have events like this and see our local heroes and community friends.”
Thanks to community support and a donation drive spearheaded by Bellefonte resident Bonnie Leathers, enough money was raised to revive the parade this year.
“It takes about $2,500 to put together. We got more than that from the community,” said parade President Chuck Salvanish. “Weather is a big factor in who it attracts, but we get a few thousand people a year. It’s all for them.”
In the next few days, Salvanish said, a committee will begin to plan events including the Logan parade next year. He said community representatives would decide if there would be carnivals, festivals and parades hosted by the fire company and initiatives to raise money to host those events through the year.
“It’s really important. It’s one of the fun events we do and put a lot of work into it,” Salvanish said. “It’s a chance for us to see smiles in a line of work where smiles are so few.”