Heritage Days parade strolls through Philipsburg

Samantha Bainey twirled with the P-O marching band in Saturday’s Hetitage Days parade.
Samantha Bainey twirled with the P-O marching band in Saturday’s Hetitage Days parade. CDT photo

Presqueisle Street was a sea of lawn chairs, old friends and excited children on Saturday.

For hours before the Heritage Days Grand Parade stepped off at 2 p.m., people were getting ready.

Camp chairs, porch furniture, kid-sized Dora the Explorer folding seats, blankets, even bicycles were used to grab a spot to watch one of the largest, longest parades in the area.

Kids were prepared for what most of them called the most important part. Plastic grocery bags were in hand for the showers of candy.

There were strategies. Esme Coffman, 5, and mom Shannon Covert, of Philipsburg, made plans to shout and wave to draw candy-throwers’ attention for the best haul. It was important, as the girl’s grandparents had brought her all the way back to town from Hollidaysburg for the festivities.

“They had to,” said her mother. “This is the best parade ever.”

Don and Tracy Coffman didn’t mind. It was their first time, but they were eager to see the bands, including unique treats like Civil War re-enactor musicians, the Clearfield Jaffa Shrine Oriental Band, and Tracy’s favorite, the bagpipers.

Across the street, it was Julianna Pelka’s first time at the parade too. But while the newborn daughter of Philipsburg-Osceola Middle School assistant principal Brian Pelka and wife Gladys didn’t seem very impressed, big sisters Sophia, 4, and Lainey, 3, have their candy-scrambling down to an art and promise to show her the ropes next year.

But for one family-focused cutie, the candy was only half the show.

Nicholas Matweecha, 6, said he was waiting for “twirlers.” Really?

Turns out he was just being an awesome big brother.

Sister Katie, 5, was coming down the street with the Liberettes and he wanted to cheer for her.