Aspinwall volunteer steps up to coordinate Memorial Day parade |
Fox Chapel

Aspinwall volunteer steps up to coordinate Memorial Day parade

Tawnya Panizzi
Veteran James Christy stands at the memorial of the American Legion Post 77 in Aspinwall. The post will host a Changing of the Guard ceremony on May 26, 2019, a day prior to Memorial Day.

The work is done for Aspinwall Memorial Day parade coordinator Barb Leonard. Now, it’s up to Mother Nature to hopefully make the weather work in her favor.

“There’s nothing I can do about that, but I will be checking it every day,” said Leonard, who for years has performed countless tasks to ensure the borough’s holiday celebration grows bigger and better.

Thousands of people from across the region are expected to line the streets of Aspinwall when the parade kicks off at noon May 27 along Commercial Avenue. An hour prior, there will be an opening ceremony nearby in front of the American Legion Post 77.

“We work year-round and somehow, it all comes together,” Leonard said. “People love it.”

She and her committee started months ago seeking donations and lining up entertainment. This year, to honor the 100th anniversary of the American Legion, Leonard said the she has scheduled a George Washington impersonator to walk the route, along with other patriotic-themed acts.

“This is a party, but the real reason we’re here is to honor our vets,” Leonard said.

Post 77 will host a Changing of the Guard ceremony throughout the day on May 26, beginning at noon.

Residents are invited to pay their respects at the monument along Commercial Avenue to veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

During the parade, dozens of participants will perform along the route from Commercial to Eastern avenues, to Second Street, Virginia Avenue, Fourth Street and Western Avenue, before ending back on Commercial.

Entertainment includes the Pittsburgh Patriotic Brass Band, Pittsburgh Firefighters Memorial Pipe and Drum Band, the Fox Chapel Area band and cheerleaders, Aspinwall volunteer fire department, classic cars, Main Street Trolley, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and costumed characters.

Ice sculptor Richard Bubin will be carving a creation under the pergola across from the municipal building, also along Commercial Avenue.

Bubin, of Churchill, holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest ice carver for 61, 300-pound blocks of ice carved into 61 different sculptures in 4 hours 22 minutes and 55 seconds, set in January 2002.

“This parade is something really special,” Leonard said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Fox Chapel
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