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Pittsfield's Historic 4th of July Parade to Return

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After a two-year hiatus, the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade will return with a fitting theme: "Back With a Bang."

The Parade Committee wants to make sure this event is extra special to thank the community for its ongoing support.

Consultant Ray Pulver from Upbeat Parade Productions will help to recruit more music groups, entertainment groups, and local or nation personalities will be added to the agenda. Pulver ran the parade more than 20 years ago.

Committee President Peter Marchetti said they would like to hire the Mummers' string band from Philadelphia.

Marchetti said musical units and celebrities of varying degrees were always a part of the show but have dwindled over the years. To come "Back With a Bang," the committee would like to amp up those aspects.

From the late 1970s to 2020, Pittsfield — and beyond — residents lined North Street on Independence Day to enjoy floats, marching bands, large balloons, and other parade hallmarks.

The event fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. With the promise of vaccinations, planners were hopeful that the parade would happen for 2021 but, in May, Mayor Linda Tyer determined that it couldn't be safely held because of the virus.

Marchetti said planning has commenced because there are no current restrictions that prevent the parade from happening.

According to the Pittsfield Parade website, the parade dates back to the early 1800s and, in 1947, the Pittsfield Permanent Fireman's Association took it over and ran it until 1976.

In 1978, a group of volunteers held their first parade with seed money from the City of Pittsfield and grew to be the committee that runs the show today.

The event can cost anywhere from $70,000 to $100,000 and relies solely on donations. Because the committee raised a good amount of money before the pandemic canceled the parade, fundraising efforts will go towards next year.

"The good news is in 2019, we had a pretty good year of fundraising, so it put us back to where we used to be," Marchetti said. "So when we're raising money this year, this year's fundraiser is for next year's parade."

Funds can be sent to Pittsfield Parade Committee, Inc, PO Box 1738, Pittsfield, MA 01202, or donations can be made through PayPal on its website

The committee is seeking new members to assist with parade planning and will also be launching a new website.

New volunteers are always welcome to the meetings held the third Wednesday of each month except December at the Polish Falcons on Belair Ave at 7 pm.  
The proposed 2022 meeting dates are 2/16/2022, 3/16/2022, 4/13/2022, 4/27/22, 5/11/2022, 5/18/2022, 6/1/2022, 6/8/2022, 6/15/2022, 6/29/2022.

Float and Vehicle Safety Workshops will be held in March, April, and May 2022.   


Tags: 4th of July,   parade,   

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BEAT: Conserving Flowers and their Pollinators

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Joan Edwards will speak at the May Pittsfield Green Drinks event on Tuesday, May 17th at 6:00 PM and give a slideshow presentation about the rapidly decreasing biodiversity that is taking place globally, known as the sixth extinction. 
She will specifically focus on flowers and their insect visitors. 
This sixth extinction is primarily driven by human actions, from habitat loss to climate change. The impacts of biodiversity loss are far-reaching, resulting in biological communities that are less resilient and with diminished ecosystems services. As part of the discussion, Joan will explore the impact of biodiversity loss in the pollinator-flower world and examine how the surprising dynamics of flower-pollinator networks can help to conserve both flowers and their pollinators.
Joan Edwards is a botanist interested in understanding the biomechanics and adaptive significance of ultra-fast plant movements—plant actions that are so quick they occur in milliseconds. Using high-speed video (up to 100,000 fps), she studies the evolutionary significance and biomechanics of fast movements, including the trebuchet catapults of bunchberry dogwood, the vortex rings of Sphagnum moss, the splash cups of liverworts, and the "poppers" of wood sorrel. Her early fieldwork was on the impact of moose on plants in the boreal forests of Isle Royale National Park. 
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