Memorial Day weekend in Boalsburg is a sweet tradition

The State College Area High cheerleaders march Saturday during the Boalsburg Memorial Day parade.
The State College Area High cheerleaders march Saturday during the Boalsburg Memorial Day parade. CDT photo

The drains of West Pine Street were filled with Tootsie Rolls — but it was a special occasion.

When tossing candy out the window of a moving vehicle, one can’t be a stickler for accuracy.

The annual Memorial Day Parade looped through Boalsburg late Saturday afternoon and participating vehicles weren’t above some light bribery to get a little love.

Even Joe Davidson, who is in the middle of a re-election campaign for Centre County recorder of deeds, courted the youth vote by throwing around a couple of candies.

Many of the kids lined up across the side of the road came as prepared as the actual Boy Scouts walking the parade. They carried empty shopping bags that came in handy every time they dove toward the pavement in search of sweets.

In fact, “More candy!” was pretty much the battle cry of the entire proceeding, followed closely by “Firetruck! Firetruck!” – of which there were, of course, plenty.

Engines from the Boalsburg, Centre Hall, Burnham and Howard fire companies joined the parade line, which also featured the State College Area High School Marching Band, baton spinners from groups like the Diamondettes Twirling Corps and an ambulance from Centre LifeLink EMS.

Even a pair of standard tow trucks received a warm reception (again, candy).

Bill Smith had a comfortable perch from which to watch all of the festivities. His house in Boalsburg is nestled right alongside the parade route, allowing him to take part in the action without having to leave his front porch — and he wasn’t alone.

A group of friends and family sat with him on the porch, eating, drinking and watching the firetrucks make their way down the street.

Smith estimates that between 30 and 40 people, all friends and relatives, had joined his family at their home, an annual tradition that allows him to introduce new people to the parade.

“It’s an entertaining event, especially for those who have never seen it,” said Smith.

He thought that the parade seemed a little smaller than years past but was happy with the nice weather.

Susan Bunting and her three grandchildren were enjoying the sunshine from the sidewalk. Bunting lives in Delaware but is by no means a stranger to the parade.

“I come up every year. It’s such fun and it seems to be the appropriate way to celebrate the holiday,” Bunting said.

Her granddaughters and 2 year-old grandson, Geordan, kept her company. Bunting said that Geordan in particular seemed to enjoy the parade. His sister, Lauren, thinks he liked the music.

Geordan was more direct.

“I got a lollipop!” Geordan said.