Northville Independence Day parade onlookers span the globe

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Hapi Sullivan, right, of St. Augustine, FL, stands with his wife, Paola, center, and daughter, Samantha Patty, 5 with family friend Angela Perez, left, and her son, Santiago, 4, of Northville taking in another Northville Independence Day Parade down Main Street in Northville on Saturday. The Sullivan’s have had a summer camp near Sacandaga Lake for more than 65 years.

NORTHVILLE — North and South Main Street in Northville was lined with red, white and blue-clad spectators from across the globe on Saturday for the village’s annual Independence Day Parade.

Northville residents, Fulton County residents and families from across the nation, visitors from England and even foreign-born residents turned up to celebrate this year’s theme of “Remember When.”

“This is Fourth of July Town U.S.A.,” Northville resident, disc jockey and parade MC Larry Vrooman said from his raised station in the middle of the parade route. “Northville always has things going on for the Fourth, fireworks, people dancing in the streets. People have always come up here for over 100 years, even before the lake was made.”

The holiday weekend officially kicks off summer celebrations and a time to visit and catch up with family and friends.

The Carknard family from Brighton, Michigan took in the parade on North Main Street, grabbing as much as they could of the candy that was thrown from the slew of parade floats, vehicles and marching participants passing by, keeping Kathleen, 8, Clara, 6,and Vincent, 4, busy with their mom, Krissy.

The group were visiting their aunt, Meaghan Cherry, of Northville.

“We come back every July 4 for the parade and everything going on,” Krissy Carknard said. “I graduated from Northville and I brought my family back from Michigan.”

The group wasn’t fazed by the 13-hour road trip, arriving in Northville at 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

“They love it,” she said. “They talked about it all year long coming back for the summer. They were packed weeks in advance to come here.”

Further down the parade route on South Main Street, Jade Funnell of a different Brighton — the one in England — viewed her first-ever Independence Day parade, visiting Brittany DeJohn of Northville.

The parade was also a family affair for the Sullivan’s for more than 65 years. For Hapi Sullivan, the parade was close during his youth, raised in Schenectady. The event has become a favorite event for his wife, Paola, and family friend, Angela Perez of Northville. Both women were born in Columbia.

“This is a tradition to make sure we get here by the Fourth of July so we can come to the Doins and to the parade, which we love,” Sullivan said, who now lives in St. Augustine, Florida. 

Samantha Patty Sullivan, 5, and Santiago Perez, 4, were both in attendance Saturday, waving American flags along the parade route.

“We’ve had camps, there are five children in my family and my father purchased camps for all of us and we’ve been coming here for more than 65 years,” Sullivan said. 

He wouldn’t miss the Northville Independence Day Parade — except for when it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s a very special parade because it’s so simple,  nice and fun,” Sullivan said. “There’s nothing overdone here, anybody can be in their parade that wants to be in the parade. We get to see a lot of family, cousins and the local people that we don’t get to see all winter.”

He said Northville’s parade is an ideal annual experience.

“This is a town where you don’t have to lock your doors or lock your bicycles,” Sullivan said. “It’s the way it should be hopefully for all of us where we can just enjoy each other, respect each other, put politics to the side and have a beautiful day.”

By Stan Hudy

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