Almost every community in Delaware County celebrates the Fourth of July with a parade, but few could match the size and crowds of Marple Newtown’s Monday celebration.
The westbound section of West Chester Pike was closed as families lined the road to celebrate the nation’s 246th birthday.
A line of floats, bands, buggies, vintage cars, fire trucks and community organizations stretched 2 miles from the heart of Newtown Square in West Chester Pike to the grandstand near Malin Road in Broomall .
The parade has become a Delaware County tradition since its inception in 1984 and now includes a fun 5k run before the event as well as a home decorating contest.
While most units started at St. Alban’s circle, bicycles, buggies, carts and hand-drawn chariots started after the long hill of St. Anastasia’s Church.
Attendees included Lauren Miller of Glenolden and her family. His daughter Elianna rode a float as part of the parade.
“I was into it, getting the kids involved is so much fun,” Miller said. “And we celebrate America.”
A number of exciting bands participated including the WhoaPhat Brass Band from South Philly, the Marching Cobras Drum and Dance Lines from New York and the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps from Pennington New Jersey. Of course, now the Delco parade would be complete without the Mummers and this year’s parade included Woodland String Band.
The Grand Marshall was William Greco Jr., co-owner with his brother Tom of Thunderbird Steakhouse, a third-generation Marple institution founded by his grandfather Salvatore and father William in 1956.
Greco thanked everyone for their support and said the parade was a fantastic part of the community.
“It shows you how important everyone is to each other,” he said. “Good relationships have been built here.”
The parade route also included a quiet zone for those sensitive to the high-pitched sirens of fire engines.