Monday, November 11, 2013

Ambridge loved parades! Veterans Day, 1958, was a huge one

Three photos of the Ambridge Veterans Day parade, Beaver Valley Times, November 12, 1958

The caption under the photos reads:
VETERANS DAY PARADE IN AMBRIDGE - Approximately 10,000 persons witnessed American Legion Committee's Veterans Day Parade in Ambridge Tuesday night. Another 3,000 persons participated in the parade to climax a five-day celebration which also included a past-commanders banquet, 40 and 8 parade, memorial services and a Gold Star Mothers banquet. Catholic Daughters of America Drum and Bugle Corps can be seen in the picture on the left and the Baden American Legion Drill Team is in action in the center. The photo on the right shows five youngsters enjoying the proceedings. 
The Ambridge of the past loved parades and had several every year.

In the '50s and '60s, Ambridge had annual parades on Christmas, Flag Day, Labor Day, Loyalty Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day.

Ambridge had a parade to celebrate its Golden Jubilee on July 2, 1955. An October 2, 1963, torchlight parade featuring KDKA-TV celebrities Josie Carey and John Reed King promoted the United Fund. To promote savings bonds, a Star Spangled Banner Savings Month parade was held in May of '65 and '66.

Nationality Days opened with a parade. There were Soap Box Derby parades and parades to celebrate the state championships of the Ambridge Junior Legion baseball team on August 22, 1961, and the Ambridge Area High School basketball team on March 20, 1967.

The 1958 Veterans Day parade, on the evening of November 11, was a big one, perhaps Ambridge's largest ever, with approximately 3,000 marchers. The staging area began in Fair Oaks at First Street and Beaver Road, continued into Ambridge at Merchant Street, went down Marshall Alley, then Maplewood Avenue, Second Street, Third Street, and Park Road.

The Beaver Valley Times' list of units in the parade is extensive and included a large number of bands, a sizable contingent of veterans groups, Gold Star Mothers, military units, girls and boy scout troops, fraternal organizations, and police and fire companies.

The parade route, past an estimated 10,000 viewers, went up Merchant Street to 14th Street, made a right turn on 14th Street to Duss Avenue, and then another right to end at the high school in the 800 block of Duss.

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