Philipsburg's Heritage Days event kicks into high gear with parade

The Grand Parade at Heritage Days in Philipsburg is a draw for locals and those coming back to the area alike.

On Presqueisle Street Saturday, Brian Pelka’s family had their area staked out under a big tree. The Philipsburg native made the trip from his Huntingdon home just for the occasion.

“It’s a great tradition,” he said, while daughters Sofia, 3, and Lainey, 2, collected candy from passing floats and fire trucks. “I’m really proud of what a big deal the parade has become. It’s a good opportunity for the community to come together.”

Across the street, Finley O’Hare, 3, was collecting her own candy. Mom Brandy O’Hare of Kylertown comes for the fun every year, too.

“It’s great to just see family and friends,” she said. “I’m a teacher. I like seeing my students, at the parade, in the parade, in the band, on different floats.”

That is just what organizers like to hear.

“Heritage Days to me is family, a chance to welcome people back home,” said committee chairman Jim Pollock.

Harry Woods is responsible for pulling the parade together every year, and he is happy with the 2013 event.

“I think we have more participation,” he said. “We had a lot (of groups) come in that didn’t even register.”

Woods said his recipe for a successful parade is diversity. “You want bands, you want a lot of variety. You don’t want just fire trucks. You need everything all together,” he said.

Heritage Days events continue Sunday with the car show on Front Street and cow chip bingo at Memorial Field.