See the slideshow of the 200 year parade and celebration
By Sandy Rigas
The long-awaited Bicentennial Parade celebrating the Town of Independence’s 200th birthday delighted both spectators and participants Saturday evening in Whitesville. Folks residing on Main Street had ringside seats on their front lawns or porches, while others gathered along the sidewalks to watch the 90-minute spectacle.
Showcasing community, the Wellsville American Legion colors started the line off, followed by the Grand Marshal and the Bicentennial Court, and the Bicentennial Committee. The Whitesville Fire Department, Independence Emergency Squad, and numerous other area fire companies and their trucks were represented. A sextet of Shriners made their unmistakable appearance, especially delighting the young with their zigzagging moves. The Whitesville Library, Whitesville Girl Scouts, the Town of Independence Supervisor and Board, local dairy farm families, law enforcement, church groups, tractors, vintage vehicles, horses and ponies, and the Whitesville Blue Jays Marching Band were represented, with the Allegany County Cancer Services, Wellsville Brewing Company and the Texas Hot also part of the lineup.
The past was also featured, with several floats including “the West Union Hillbillies” depicting rural culture and history and evoking smiles and laughter all around. One participant rode a “penny-farthing” vintage high wheeled bicycle, popular in the late 19th century.
The five-day Bicentennial party concluded Sunday with a church service and a pot-luck community picnic.