Canonsburg to vote on curbing parade viewers' chairs
Canonsburg residents who have been on the edge of their seats about the fate of a longtime borough tradition to claim prime viewing spots for the Fourth of July parade weeks in advance could have an answer on Monday.
Borough council will vote on a plan to allow residents to place chairs along the route two days in advance. The plan is a compromise on an earlier decision to ban chairs until the day of the parade.
“When you think about Canonsburg, you think, ‘Fourth of July,'” said Councilman Joseph McGarry, 67. “We're a small town of 8,000 people, but there is a lot of pride.”
Each Fourth of July, parade-goers place chairs of all styles, many decorated, along the route as early as the third week of June to secure spots. In response to a request from borough police Chief R.T. Bell involving safety concerns, the council in July voted to ban chairs from the sidewalks until 6 a.m. July 4.
The decision sparked strong reactions from some residents, prompting council to revisit the issue. On Monday, council will vote on a compromise to permit chairs to be placed along the route beginning at 6 a.m. July 2.
The Fourth of July parade, billed by organizers as the state's second-largest behind Philadelphia's, draws thousands of people. Some residents attach chairs to trees with chains to secure the best spots. Others mark off half-block areas with rope.
“I love the chairs,” said Anthony Colaizzo, 82, of Canonsburg, who helped found the parade 50 years ago. “The chairs are a symbol of tradition.”
Borough officials expressed concerns about the chairs potentially obstructing firefighters, police and EMS crews, in addition to making sidewalks difficult to navigate for people with disabilities. They also can blow into the street during storms.
Canonsburg Mayor David Rhome said, “The concern has always been safety” regarding the chairs.
“When you have 60,000 or 70,000 people in town, everybody wants a front seat,” he said, adding that the two-day rule will “help out tremendously.”
Colaizzo, who remains a member of the Fourth of July parade committee, said he takes daily walks through town and never had a problem in getting around the chairs.
Shortly after council's July decision, a Facebook page called “Save the Canonsburg Parade Chairs” popped up. It had 265 “likes” as of Wednesday.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- Lower Burrell family opens home to old-fashioned Easter egg hunt
- Henry: Yough River Trail Council races set for Saturday
- New Kensington resident looks to transform city
- Retiring Arnold, Lower Burrell mayors look back with contrasting views
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Sex-soaked culture faulted for fraternity house parties
- Arab nationsunite to quell region’s armed insurgencies
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Aspinwall searches for new police chief