PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Tens of thousands of people lined the route along downtown Pittsfield for its annual July 4th parade, one of the largest in the country.
From the dress to the music, the elaborate parade was a trip back in time. There were floats, dance groups, bands and singing groups, and even the Angry Birds.
Deb Morris of Windsor says the parade has become a tradition; she's been bringing her family to the parade for thirty years. “It's all about Berkshire County just being the greatest place,” she said. As for the heat and humidity, Morris says it's all part of the fun.
Her grandson, 12-year-old Jaden Cross had a slightly different take. “It's pretty hot. We have to drink a lot of water.”
Then, there was one of the more popular guys in the crowd: The self-described “candy man,” Mark Alford. Since those in the parade are no longer allowed to throw out candy, he delivers it to them personally. Alford's been doing it for ten years.
“This is a day to be happy for freedom. This is a day to be happy and rejoice about it, so if I can make somebody happy and make a little kid smile today and remember today, I think I've done a good job,” Alford said.
Parade-goers also say it's important to remember the reason behind the event. Uncle Sam, who came from Troy, put it in perspective.
“Celebrating our independence from Great Britain quite a few years ago, and then following that is when Uncle Sam became Uncle Sam,” he said.