Shamokin's grand parade will have Miss Pa., Olympian, Mummers and more
SHAMOKIN - With around four dozen groups and three mummers bands, the grand parade for Shamokin's 150th celebration will be quite spectacular.
The parade is scheduled to kick off on Shamokin Street in the Fifth Ward at 2:20 p.m. Saturday. It will wind approximately 2.2 miles through Shamokin and end at the east end of Independence Street.
A gaggle of classic vehicles will traverse the streets preceding the grand parade as part of the Independence Street Car Show, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Miss Pennsylvania Amanda Smith, who will compete in this year's Miss America pageant, will draw the winning ticket for a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro that is being raffled off to pay for the festivities at 10 a.m. on the stage near Susquehanna Bank, Independence Street. The winner may choose to ride in the Camaro as the parade's grand marshal; however, the winner need not be present to win the car. The winner also does not need to be part of the parade and can choose a person to ride in his place.
Smith, who attends Carnegie Mellon University, will arrive this evening and ride in a car in Saturday's parade.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know the town and meeting everybody," Smith said Thursday by phone. "I want to see the parade and walk downtown and see everything."
Honorary marshals Kitty Klebasko and Harry "Chick" Mattis will ride in a convertible. They were selected as honorary marshals due to their longtime commitment to the community through volunteerism. Mattis and Klebasko's involvement includes serving as the chairpersons of the Anthracite Heritage Parade committee.
Mummers a highlight
The three mummers groups attending the parade will travel into town from the Philadelphia area on Catawese Coach Lines buses supplied by William D. Milbrand, owner of the bus company and Shamokin's mayor.
The Avalon String Band, which comprises members between 12 and 60 years of age who play saxophones, banjos, accordions and percussion instruments, performs sing-along music and minstrel standards as well as popular music from the early to mid-1900s, swing and big band.
The Uptown String Band, which is based in Bucks County, will perform with the theme "The Pillage People."
The Polish American String band uses synchronized drill, dancing and scenery in their performances.
Mummers groups, which are recognized for their elaborate costuming, will be one of the highlights, said Bill Dudeck, one of the parade organizers.
"They're not easy to get," said Dudeck. "I'm looking forward to the community having entertainment that's never been seen before in Shamokin."
Also visiting from the Philadelphia area will be the Irish Thunder, which Dudeck said is the top pipe corps on the East Coast. The group's repertoire includes traditional Irish tunes as well as several American songs, such as "Yankee Doodle."
The Nittany Highland Pipe and Drum Band, a central Pennsylvania bagpipe and drum corps with members from State College, Lock Haven, Williamsport, Lewistown and Altoona areas, will also participate, as will the MacKay Pipes Band, of Bethlehem.
Rajah Shrine String Band, a unit of Shriners International that features a 33-member string orchestra pulled by a tractor trailer, will also provide music.
Another division of Shriners International, the Rajah Shrine "Forks of the Delaware" Tin Lizzies, will ride in the parade in miniature antique cars.
In addition to Miss Fifth Ward Jaime Levy, Shamokin Queen Lydia Sandri, Teen Queen Daizy Barrett, Junior Miss Elyse Grace Whitmer and Little Queen Kelsey Olszewski, the parade will feature several dignitaries.
One notable visitor is U.S. Olympian Jayson Terdiman. Originally from Berwick, Terdiman competed in the luge men's doubles and team relay at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Disc jockeys and emcees will be stationed along the parade route to announce what's coming next and to warm up the crowd.
The parade will conclude downtown near Shamokin and Independence streets. The festivities downtown, which include live music and character portrayals, will continue until the fireworks show at 9:40 p.m. A fireworks soundtrack will be played in conjunction with Saturday's display on Bill 95, 95.3 FM.