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60th Annual Dogwood Parade to Feature Horse Drawn Carriages, Past Queens

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. --- Horse-drawn carriages will transport 2011 Dogwood Queen Courtney Weiland and her court during the Phoenixville Jaycees’ Dogwood Parade on May 21, which will begin the commencement of the 60th annual Dogwood Festival.

The parade will begin at 1 p.m. and will also feature Philadelphia 76ers mascot Hip-Hop, Philadelphia Eagles’ mascot Swoop, marching and string bands, floats created by local groups and business, military groups and police and fire departments. Bands, classic automobiles, floats, fire companies and dance groups will be judged as they pass Reeves Park and awarded prizes at the parade’s conclusion. Judging is organized by Mike Solick.

The first Dogwood Parade was held in 1952 to honor Armed Forces Day, which was created August 31, 1949, and first celebrated on May 20, 1950. Armed Forces Day was created to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days and stemmed from the armed forces’ unification under one department – the Department of Defense.

The parade route will start at Franklin Commons on Franklin Avenue, pass through the 200 block on Bridge Street and then proceed up Main Street to 5th Avenue.

Janet Heidelmark will be the Grand Marshall of this year’s parade. Janet is the wife of Wally Heidelmark, who passed shortly after last year’s Dogwood Festival. This year’s festival was dedicated to Wally’s memory and all he did for the Phoenixville Jaycees and the community.
The contestants in the Dogwood Pageant, which was held April 9 at Barkley Elementary School, will be in a trolley along with parade directors Kristin Morris, Katie Ciruelos, Shelley Endrey and Tiffany Yambrick and past Dogwood Queens Jennifer Epps (1974), Carol Yeager (1977) and Tara Pannella (1990).

1961 Dogwood Queen Dianne Litishin Ponzio is also appearing in the parade and will be escorted by members of her graduating class.

Scheduled performers include Irish Thunder, Reilly Raiders, Hegeman’s String Band, the Woodland String Band, the Polish-American String Band, the Phoenixville Area School District High School Marching Band, Phoenixville Area School District Middle School Marching Band and others. The Chinese American Community Center Folk Dance Troupe will also be making its first appearance in the parade.

State and local politicians will also be in the parade.

For more information please contact Jill Dilworth at 267-252-1799 or dogwoodparade@gmail.com.

Comments

Brian from Phoenixville said…
Am I the only one who thinks that the "throwing candy" tradition has gotten a bit out of hand? I was absolutely appalled at how the focus for so many kids (not to mention their low-class moms and dads and other adults WAY too interested in getting candy) was on the candy and not on enjoying/watching the parade. Call me old-fashioned, but the parade should be about the parade, not about giving our kids more cavities and more sugar.

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