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Fall Foliage Festival Marchers Parade Through PuddlesBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Sunday, October 01, 2006
North Adams - Mother Nature rained on the city's big Oct. 1 parade but a steady downpour that began as participating units assembled before noon did not stop the march from its' Wal-Mart 1 p.m. kick-off.
|Harry S. Orr Award winning float|
The 51st Fall Foliage Festival Parade drew a thinner crowd than when the weather cooperates.
But hale and hearty parade fans came out and sections of Curran Highway, State Street, Main Street, and Ashland Streets were filled with rain-gear garbed folks who clutched umbrellas and cheered as the marching bands, floats, dignitaries, and police, fire, and military units passed.
Parade Grand Marshal state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley
The weather caused cancellation of a planned plane fly-over and is believed to be the reason for several "no-show" units that had been scheduled to march, said parade Director Paul "P.J." Renaud.
Renaud said that he was pleased with the crowds that braved the dismal weather to come out and watch the parade. This year marked the end of Renaud's five-year parade director tenure.
"It's bittersweet," he said of his decision to give up the director's duties. "I'll miss working with everybody. But I want to spend some time with my daughter Amelia watching parades instead of working to get them together."
The Drury High School marching band performed for appreciative, wet-weather crowds.
Amelia Renaud, 7, walked the parade route with Renaud during the parade.
Parade Grand Marshal state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley walked the route with his wife Laura. City Mayor John Barrett III, U.S. Congressman John W. Olver, North Adams City Councilors, and Berkshire County District Attorney David F. Capeless also walked despite the rain.
Among the performance highlights was an upbeat dance routine performed at the grandstand by members of the Berkshire Line Dancers. The dance group erected a float from the movie "Grease" and danced to the popular song "Greased Lightning." Members of a St. John's Episcopal Church performing group sang songs from the musical "Godspell" as they made their way along the route.
City Mayor John Barrett III walked the parade route.
Float winners are:
Harry S, Orr Award: MountainOne Financial Group
Hayden Award: Rock n Roll Oldies
Mayors Award: The Adams Turners
Grand Marshal Award: North Adams teachers Association
Director's Award: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-823-9367.