SHARON STANLEY/TIMES NEWS Members of the Woodland String Band of Philadelphia strut their stuff down Main Street in Slatington on Saturday as America's Slate Capital celebrates its 150th. See more photos on Page 8 and our gallery at tnonline.com
Slatington's 150th Anniversary Parade and Block Party on Saturday was not only attended by hundreds of residents and guests, but was also a unanimous success.
"The turnout was great, and people are having so much fun," said Darla Fakla, owner of Darla's 1950s Ice Cream Parlor and Hot Foods shop on Main Street in the borough.
The parade, which began at noon, was led by both Olympic torch carrier Jim Serfass, originally of Jim Thorpe, who carried it at the 2002 Winter Olympics and traveled all the way from Florida to do so for the parade, and by Pennsylvania State Police on horseback.
It included not only local fire departments, bands and organizations but also fire departments from more distant neighboring municipalities, a drum and bugle corps from as far away as Port Chester, New York, and mummers from Philadelphia.
Residents who lined the streets during the two-hour event were witness not only to the usual past and present-style floats and entertainers but also to such unique offerings as The Victorian Highwheelers, a group of five riders on "the world's first bicycles."
Awards were handed out for many parade categories, with the grand champion best overall unit being the Saints Brigade Drum and Bugle Corps.
After the parade ended, the 600 block, and portions of other blocks, on Main Street were closed to traffic to allow for a huge block party that lasted well into the night.
During the daytime hours, the block party consisted of a beer garden, food vendors, a corn on the cob eating contest, a pie eating contest, and "Era Dancing in the Streets."
In addition, there was a bounce house for children, Buster the Clown making balloon animals, a face painting station and a temporary tattoo station.
Look-alike Scooby-Doo and Spider-Man entertainers strolled through the streets.
Union and Confederate soldiers also made the big event.
Small groups of people gathered throughout the streets and, upon spotting someone they had not seen in some time, immediately opened up to bring them in for hugs.
"I think it's awesome that the town came together and did this," said Slatington native Heather Truett.
"Everyone seems to be coming together as a town and enjoying each other's company."
Crowds also gathered in the Slatington 150 Memorabilia Store at 647 Main St. and its Sesquicentennial Museum right next door.
Throughout the day at the block party, bands included The Price is Rice, The Groove, and Mike Peters & John Ortiz. Closing out the night was the rock band Social Call, whose music kept hundreds of people dancing in the streets until 10 p.m.
When asked how the entire week's events played out, 150th Events Committee Chairman and Treasurer Amanda Trelease said, "I think everything went fantastic … people are asking for more of this every year."
"This has been a tremendous week," agreed Mayor Walter Niedermeyer.
"Slatington really came together to make it a great celebration."