The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Parade’

Gettysburg Remembrance Day

Bob and I vacationed in Gettysburg earlier this month.  We attended Gettysburg Remembrance Day activities, toured the battlefield, and caught the last few minutes of the Gettysburg Dedication Ceremony.  This blog post is about arriving in Gettysburg and Remembrance Day activities.

We departed our home in Warren PA at 12:40 pm on Friday, November 16th.  We arrived in Gettysburg at approximately 6:15 pm.  We checked in at the Best Western Gettysburg.  We spent four nights at this hotel.  All four nights were free, as we used reward points for our entire stay.

All in all it was a good travel day.  Our only concern was making it safely to Gettysburg.  The previous day had brought lots of snow and ice to the area that we drove through on Friday.  Gettysburg received 8 inches of snow.  We are thankful that the roads were not icy, just wet. 

Our hotel room was nice and spacious.  We had two queen beds separated by a nightstand, desk and chair, arm chair with ottoman, small round table by the arm chair, three-drawer chest of drawers with a small flat screen TV on top of it, and plenty of lights.  The “foyer” had a closet and mini kitchen complete with refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, AND cabinet space.  The bathroom door was in the foyer.  There was nothing out of the ordinary about the bathroom.

I went to bed at 9:00 pm and, as expected, awakened early the next day.  I got up at 4:30 am; Bob was already up.

We went to breakfast at 6:00 am.  Breakfast was EXCELLENT, and it is by far the nicest breakfast room we have seen at a hotel.  Breakfast included food that we are accustomed to see at Best Western Plus hotels, plus one addition.  For the first time ever we saw a pancake maker.  It serves two pancakes at once.  Bob said the pancakes were good.  I had a waffle that first morning (and every morning thereafter).  The breakfast room attendant was talkative and provided valuable information about the afternoon’s Remembrance Day parade such as from where to watch the parade, to bring our chairs there early (we had chairs in the car but chose not to use them), and from what side of the street to watch the parade to avoid wind.  She also provided the names, locations and type of food served at several nearby restaurants.

Remembrance Day is held each year on a Saturday in November.  This year, Remembrance Day was celebrated on November 17th.  Remembrance Day honors the soldiers and civilians of the American Civil War.  Civil War reenactors have a big parade. There are also numerous side events throughout the battlefield where reenactors honor specific units at their monuments, placing wreaths and holding other ceremonies. At night, there are balls and other gatherings.  Weather permitting a luminary candle is lit on each Civil War soldier’s grave.

Being in Gettysburg for Remembrance Day activities it was easy to feel as though time had gone backwards.  As I stood (or sat) at our hotel window, I saw many people walking by dressed in the fashion of the early 1860s!

TestPeople dressed in the fashion of the 1860s pass by our hotel window.

We went for a walk through a small portion of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where we heard drums and bugles and fifes and saw one large group of Civil War reenactors and a couple smaller groups marching in the Cemetery. The reenactors stopped and honored members of their portrayed units who were killed or died from wounds at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Civil War reenactors honoring members of their portrayed units

Civil War reenactors honoring members of their portrayed units


The first Remembrance Day parade was held 62 years ago in 1956, the year that I was born.  The parade features Civil War living history groups.  The parade lined up on Lefever Street, made a left onto Baltimore Street, right onto Steinwehr Avenue and proceeded up Steinwher Avenue and made a left onto Taneytown Road, up Taneytown Road and then a left onto Cyclorama Drive where the parade dispersed.  We watched the parade from Taneytown Road.  The parade began at 1:00 pm and lasted just under 35 minutes. 

The Remembrance Day parade was really nice, with lots of union and confederate representation, lots of flags, civilians, horses, and at least two Abraham Lincoln’s!

Shortly after 5:00 pm we walked to the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where we walked along a pathway lit with luminary candles.  Luminary candles were lit on each of the 3,512 Civil War Union soldier’s graves.   

Remembrance Illumination

Remembrance Illumination

Remembrance Illumination

The lighted candles were a beautiful thing to see and a touching tribute to the sacrifices made by these Civil War soldiers.

In my next blog post about our Gettysburg vacation, I will share photographs and details from our battlefield tour.




Fourth of July Festivities

Our hometown of Warren, PA throws a big party for the 4th of July holiday. Festivities began this year on Saturday, July 2.   We didn’t participate in all of the 4th of July festivities.  I will share with you the events in which we did participate.

We rode to Betts Park on the afternoon of July 3.  We arrived there close to 2:00 pm and stayed for about an hour. We saw the Budweiser Clydesdales and the Birds of Prey exhibit.

Budweiser Clydesdales

The Clydesdale horses pulled the Budweiser wagon through the parking lot a few times.

The Tamarack Wildlife Center Birds of Prey exhibit included three owls and two hawks.

This is Jasper, an Eastern Screech-Owl.  Jasper was found injured in the middle of a country road near Albion, PA and brought to the Center for medical care. With damage to one eye and ear, he was not able to be released and required surgical removal of an eye.

This is Willow, an Eastern Screech-Owl.  Willow and her family of three owlets were rescued from a city park in Erie, PA when the tree limb holding their nest was cut down. Her story received coverage in local newspapers and television. The owlets survived with no permanent damage and were released on Presque Isle once grown; their mother, however, suffered a wing fracture that would prevent her return to the wild.

This is “Spirit” the white Red-tailed Hawk.
Spirit is not releasable due to injuries he suffered when caught in a leg hold trap.

This is Sophia, a Barred Owl.  After being hit by a car, Sophia was brought to Tamarack to be treated for a broken wing. She healed well enough to have limited flight.  However, because the break occurred near Sophia’s elbow, she is now unable to fully extend her wing, and cannot fly well enough to survive in the wild.

This is Alice, a Cooper’s Hawk.
Alice was found on a farm in Cochranton,
unable to fly because her wrist bones had been severely damaged.

We saw the Betts Park fireworks display from the grounds of the Warren Manor Nursing Home, with friends visiting a family member who is a patient there.  The nursing home provided hot dogs, chips and pop for patients and their guests at a reasonable cost of $2.00 for all.  Three types of cookies were passed around to everyone as well.  I thought it quite nice that the nursing home does this for its patients.


On Independence Day we watched a parade and attended a picnic.

The parade was in downtown Warren and marked its 69th year.  We watched the parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, at the southwest corner of Hickory Street Bridge, across from Kwik Fill.  We watched the parade with our friends Paul, Debbie, Scott and Donna.  Our daughter and granddaughters were IN the parade. Harper and June rode their tricycles in the parade. The girls rode behind the Lather Salon van, until they couldn’t ride any longer.

Harper and June tuckered out just before reaching the Hickory Street Bridge.  They rode their tricycles a long, long way.

Harper and June rode rest of the way in the parade in the back of the Lather Salon van.

The parade began at 11:00 am and ended around 1:45 pm.  The following slideshow contains about half of the photographs that I took, while watching the parade.  The slideshow is about 8 1/2 minutes long.  I hope that you find it enjoyable!

At 3:30 pm we went to our friends’ house for a picnic, which was attended by ten additional friends as well as family and other friends of our hosts. We sat around a campfire, enjoying each others’ company, as well as hot dogs and a variety of dishes brought to share. It was a comfortable and relaxing couple of hours and a great end to a wonderful 4th of July holiday.

Independence Day at Home

Our July 4th activities began shortly before 11:00 am, when we met my stepdaughter Stacey, our twin granddaughters, and Chris (Stacey’s mother) to watch Warren’s 4th of July parade. We met at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carver Street, at the start of the parade.

Harper and June did not stay in those chairs for very long.

The parade lasted 2 hours, and I spent most of that time sitting on the ground, cross legged, with Harper on one knee and June on the other. Stacey, Chris and Bob stood for the duration of the parade.

See the man and boy who are wearing patriotic hats?

That man, his wife and son were already at this parade location, when we arrived.  They moved their chairs over to allow room for Harper and June’s chairs.  Harper and June pushed their chairs back because they didn’t want to sit at the front, alone, beside strangers. I sat down where the chairs had been.  Harper and June liked that seating arrangement.

Brett Fallon

A highlight of Warren’s 4th of July parade is the candy that is tossed (and handed) to the children.  The older children in this picture went out of their way to make sure Harper and June got candy.

Neither Harper nor June like loud noises.  June is even more sensitive to loud noise.  The fire trucks hit their sirens in the parade.  You could count on June holding her hands to her ears, whenever that happened.

Harper and June liked the Zem Zem Hornets and their Go-Karts.

This was the first year Bob and I saw the parade with Harper and June. The girls liked the parade, and I am so happy that we were able to share the experience with them.


Hometown Christmas Parade

Bob and I attended Warren’s annual Christmas parade yesterday evening.  The parade route ran from the south end of Market Street, along Pennsylvania Avenue West, and disbanded north on Hickory Street.


Photograph obtained from Times Observer newspaper
(Please click on image for larger size)

There was a very good turnout for the parade.  Weather reports called for rain during the evening.  The “parade angels” must have been watching over us, as the rain held off until the end of the parade.  A very light rain began to fall shortly after the end of the parade.

We watched the parade at “the point”’ in front of the Heritage Fountain (Special Event #3 shown on map above).  We watched the parade with friends.

Some of our friends

I took both of these photographs, while we were waiting for the parade to begin.

More friends

The parade began at 6:30 pm and reached our location approximately 20 minutes later.

John Gertsch Memorial Post Color guard

Youth Connection

Warren Area High School Marching Band

Relay for Life parade float

Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts

Brett Fallon (dancer)

Here comes Santa Claus
and Mrs. Claus!

This year’s parade was sponsored and coordinated by the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (WCCBI) and the Warren Times Observer.  A big thank you to both organizations, as they did an excellent job with the parade.

As soon as the parade ended the Christmas tree was lit.  The Christmas tree stood in front of the Heritage Fountain, located near from where we watched the parade.  There was no tree lighting ceremony, as was expected.  The tree lights just came on, with no fanfare.  The Christmas tree was the only night’s disappointment, not only for the lack of a tree lighting ceremony.  I, along with others who were standing around me, felt that whomever decorated the tree could have done a better job.

the lit Christmas tree

Our friends dispersed after the tree lighting. We returned to our car and drove home.




Memorial Day Ride

We went for a short motorcycle ride with our friends, Susan and Dave, on the morning of May 26 (Memorial Day).  We met at 8:00 am at a local fuel station and rode to Findley Lake, NY.  The purpose of riding to Findley Lake was to see that village’s Main Street Memorial Day parade.


mosaica1b5617cee3432d6a0c3cd8fd40f5dd6e9f9b142Findley Lake Memorial Day Parade


We would have watched the parade in our hometown of Warren, PA; however, Warren doesn’t have a Memorial Day parade.

After the parade, we rode into Jamestown.  We stopped at Tim Horton for coffee/iced tea and donuts.  We carried our Timmy purchases across the street, to Riverwalk Park.  After consuming our purchases, we went for a short walk along Chadakoin River.

Located at the base of this sculpture is a marker that reads: “Before white men came to this area the Indians blazed a trail between Lake Erie and Lake Chautauqua over which they, early explorers and settlers, portaged their canoes. At the Chadakoin River rapids the canoe was portaged again. Here is where the explorers rested and started a settlement which is now the City of Jamestown.”

Riverwalk Park
Our friends, Susan and Dave

After our walk in the park, we rode back to Warren.  We returned home around 12:30 pm.


Here Comes Santa Claus

Bob and I attended Warren’s annual Christmas parade and walk yesterday evening.  Weather reports called for an ice and snow mix during the evening.  The only precipitation that fell was a little bit of snow.  The snow began, as the parade started. What a magical feeling!  This year’s parade was sponsored and coordinated by the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (WCCBI) and the Warren Times Observer.  The two organizations did an excellent job.


Bob and I watched the parade and the lighting of the Christmas tree.  We then went home.  Many people stayed after the parade, enjoying the many special events held in the downtown area.  Special events included live music, refreshments, horse-drawn trolley rides and, of course, visits with Santa Claus.



Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade: Divison 9

On Saturday afternoon (May 25) the Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade was held in downtown Erie, PA.   The parade is one of many events to be held as part of Erie’s Perry 200 Commemoration that honors the 200th Anniversary of Commodore Oliver Perry’s defeat of the British in the War of 1812.  The 1.8 mile parade route traveled east on 12th Street from Cherry to 3rd and State Street through downtown Erie.  This historic parade featured more than 20 bands, numerous floats, several marching units, antique cars, giant helium-filled cartoon and patriotic balloons and more.  The Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade was the largest and most diverse celebration ever seen on the streets of Erie!

There were  nine parade divisions — one division for each of the nine American vessels that fought in the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813.  I will showcase photographs from each division in nine separate blog posts.  This blog post showcases photographs from Division 9.

Girard American Legion Post 494 Color Guard

WCTL Radio mascot

WCTL Radio mascot

The Port Dover Museum Puppets were a surprise to me.  In addition to the big helium balloons, I had never seen puppets of this size before.

Port Dover Museum Puppets

Port Dover Museum Puppets

Port Dover Museum Puppets. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words …

Port Dover Museum Puppets

The last big helium balloon in the Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade was Michael the Eagle balloon.

Michael the Eagle Balloon

Michael the Eagle Balloon

Thus concludes my coverage of the Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade.  I do believe attendance at this parade to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for me.  I am so happy that Bob and I were able to see this parade!

My coverage of the parade has ended; however, I wanted to share one more photograph with you.  As I am sure you noticed, it was a beautiful day for a parade.  The evening ended beautifully as well.

Sunset, as viewed from our room at The Avalon Hotel

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