4th of July Preps Almost Finished in Lewisburg

It is crunch time in Lewisburg as volunteers put the finishing touches on the 13 floats for this weekend’s 20th annual Fourth of July parade.

“We literally pulled these floats out of storage last week, started cleaning, fixing, repairing and now it’s just literally down to stapling the garland and the tinsel,” Chris Hilkert said.

“Right now I’m putting a jack on the Gettysburg float. The other day I helped paint that right there,” Trevor Tompkins said.

Many of the floats are built by inmates at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. The parade is organized by the Union County Veterans Committee.

“Almost about a year in advance we start coming up with a theme for the parade and we like to build a float every year, a new float,” Hilkert said.

Parade committee member Chris Hilkert says this year there are two new floats. One represents the parade theme of “Gold Star Families”, which recognizes families who lost a child in war. The other new float will carry the parade’s marshal, Paul Boiardi who is Chef Boiardi’s nephew!

Some Lewisburg residents are getting ready for the parade a day early by setting up their chairs along the parade route to make sure they have the best seats in the house.

“The whole street is already spoken for,” Nada Gray said.

Nada Gray put chairs in front of her house on Market Street.

“We have lots of friends from here and from out of town who come down to see the parade who don’t live on Market Street, so I try to set up enough chairs and get enough coffee and enough donuts out,” Gray said.

The parade starts Saturday morning at ten, and it is followed by other festivities such as a picnic, train rides and free concerts. Organizers say the parade is held a week early because so many people travel on the actual 4th of July holiday.

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