COURTESY OF MONTCLAIR TOWNSHIP
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps band will once again perform at the township’s Fourth of July parade.
Montclair’s annual Fourth of July parade with return for its 67th year on Tuesday, July 4, as will the township’s fireworks display. Montclair Celebrates announced on Sunday. That community-based organization was formed to preserve the municipality’s Independence Day celebrations.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. along a 1.6-mile route traveling west on Bloomfield Avenue to Midland Avenue, continuing to Watchung Avenue, west to Valley Road and ending at Edgemont Park, where the annual Family Picnic will be held.
The fireworks display is being held at Yogi Berra Stadium at the Montclair State University campus. The stadium admission fee is $3 per person or $10 for a family. A family is up to six people, with $2 per person beyond six, and free for kids ages 5 and under.
The gates will open at 6:30 p.m. Free parking will be available at the Carparc Diem deck, adjacent to Floyd Hall Arena and at the Red Hawk parking deck. Overflow vehicles will be directed to other parking areas. Concessions will be available; no outside food, water or other drinks may be brought into the stadium.
In terms of entertainment, once again this year the Fralinger String Band of Philadelphia Mummers fame will perform.
“This year the band’s ‘Spellbinding’ theme will see a sorcerer’s spells take the audience through a wondrous and wizardly world,” according to the parade announcement. “When the Sorcerer sees himself in his crystal ball, illusion shatters into reality and a spellbinding performance unfolds. See an amazing performance with talented musicians in fabulous costumes.”
Another parade highlight will be the return of the award-winning Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps, which has been has been seen by millions in such diverse appearances as a parade to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington’s Inauguration, a performance in a church basement in Brooklyn, concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and the New York City Veteran’s Day Parade.
Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps — a nationally competitive drum corps based in Burlington, N.J., that was founded in 1990 — are also part of the parade lineup, as are Caporales San Simon, a Bolivian dance group, and the St. Columcille United Gaelic Band.
The parade’s participants will also include local favorites such as the Montclair Community Band, community groups and organizations who will have floats and marchers, fire engines, antique cars, and “Elvis.”
Montclair Celebrates chose the Montclair Community Pre-K as the Grand Marshal of this year’s paradee. The nationally recognized Pre-K program, whose mission is to offer all three- to five-year-olds in Montclair a high-quality preschool education regardless of the family’s ability to pay, enters its 20th school year this fall.
“Just like Montclair’s 4th of July parade, the Montclair Community Pre-K is one of our township’s greatest institutions,” Paul Brubaker, chairman of the Montclair Celebrates 4th of July Committee, said in a statement. “It has touched the lives of countless families during the past two decades and it is truly interwoven into the fabric of Montclair. We are thrilled that the Montclair Community Pre-K will be leading the parade when nearly everyone in town joins together for the event of the summer season.”
The township family picnic at Edgemont Park will follow the parade, and feature barbecue and ice cream from Applegate Farm.
Button sales for the fireworks are being offered at: the Montclair Recreation Department, 205 Claremont Ave., Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Investors Bank, 536 Bloomfield Ave.; Kings Supermarket, 650 Valley Rd.; Grove Pharmacy, 123 Grove St.; and Yogi Berra Stadium the night of the event starting at 7 p.m.
In the event of rain, the parade will go on, the picnic in Edgemont Park and fireworks at Yogi Berra Stadium will be canceled.
Rain cancellation/postponement announcements will be posted on the Montclair Township website and on TV34. A rain information phone number will be available: 973-509-4914; alerts will be sent out to Montclair Events and Township Services (METS) alert system subscribers (mets.montclairnjusa.org/Subscribe.aspx).