More than 100 kids turn out for pet, children parade
SHAMOKIN - More than 100 children brought their pets, toys and patriotic outfits to a parade that traveled through downtown Wednesday evening.
The pet and toy parade, hosted by the Shamokin 150th Anniversary Committee and the Independence Fire Co., was one of many events celebrating Shamokin's sesquicentennial.
Kathy Kaleta, one of the event's organizers, estimated around 40 groups of children participated in the parade. Most of the groups included three or four children.
"It's wonderful," said Kaleta. "There's way more people here than we thought."
Girls pulling Radio Flyer wagons filled with their stuffed animals and dolls and kids riding miniature electric ATVs were just a few of the participants.
A Shamokin Police Department patrol car led the parade, and fire trucks from the Independence Fire Company and the West End Fire Company brought up the rear.
The parade traveled down Independence Street to Sixth Street and onto Arch Street, where it concluded at Claude Kehler Community Park.
The Independence Fire Association hosted a celebration in the park for the youngsters with DJ Katz Meow Sounds and a bubble machine.
As part of the festivities, volunteers distributed more than 300 hot dogs and 1,000 chicken nuggets to hungry kids.
Rain fell while the celebration got underway, but some participants stuck around until the summer storm moved on.
Award winners, which were selected by judges Bernie Sosnoskie, Chrissy Sosnoskie, Jean McGuinn and Marie Stone, were announced once the storm tapered off.
Anastasia Schank and Jenna Barker, who entered "Cat in Wagon," won Most Patriotic. Brayden Cavanaugh and Bane, his dog, won Best Pet. David Kaleta, who rode in a wagon with his dog, won Best Toy.
Winners who were not present at the announcement can retrieve their prizes at the Independence Fire Co.
All of the participating children were allowed to select prizes from a box of stuffed animals and small toys.
Hunter James Leibey, 7, of Shamokin, whose mother dutifully carried his pet fish a small tank. selected a brightly colored stuffed fish.
"I picked him because he's (pet fish) lonely," said Leibey about his choice.
Mayor William D. Milbrand thought the event was successful, despite the rain.
"There are a lot of interesting and cute entries," said Milbrand. "I'm glad the kids came out and I hope they had a good time."