OSWEGO — Floats representing businesses, public servants and local organizations marched jauntily down the Port City Sunday to the tune of marching bands and percussion groups in celebration of Independence Day.
The 2019 Independence Day parade, themed “Music of America,” stepped off at 1 p.m. from Oswego High School, making its way to Bridge Street where locals lined the sidewalks vying for the best view of the day.
The celebration continued well into the evening with fireworks at Breitbeck Park along with tunes from central New York country outfit American Eagle Band and food from local eateries.
Judging Sunday afternoon’s parade competition were Keith Raymond, owner and proprietor of the Good Guys Barbershop, Seth Wallace, editor of The Palladium-Times, and Pathfinder Bank’s Dan Capella. Floats and performers competed for one of five cash prizes.
The “Best Float” award went to the Children’s Museum of Oswego (CMOO) for their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed float. The elaborate vehicular contraption spewing soapy bubbles with a performance by Oompa-Loompas won the museum a $750 cash prize.
Ogdensburg Free Academy Marching Band was awarded a $250 cash prize for winning the best youth performance group, while cheerleading group Inferno Elite Athletix won the same amount for their victory in the best non-youth performance group category.
Of the 55 floats that participated, 10 were eligible to win prizes in the best youth and best non-youth performance categories.
Rounding out the list of winners are the Arc of Oswego County float, which won a $500 cash prize in the “Most Creative” float category, and the Studio C Dance Academy float, which was awarded a $500 cash prize for being the float that best embodied the theme of “Music of America.”
Oswego resident Angela Bogue, who recently moved to Oswego from east Texas, said Sunday was her first time seeing the parade. She called the event a “melting pot,” adding it is a great way to introduce locals to what the Oswego community has to offer.
“I think it is awesome and brings the community together,” Bogue said. “This is for our country. I like seeing all the floats and all that the community offers.”
Bogue said the parade offered locals the opportunity to spend time with friends and meet new people.
“It is just a melting pot where you get to meet people,” she said. “You get to see everything that is going on. I have a child so I get to see what schools have to offer and I also get to be involved; I get to see who is running for mayor. It is a positive thing.”