The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 6, 2014

Shamokin celebrates 150th anniversary with parade

SHAMOKIN — A gorgeous day on Saturday augmented the celebratory mood of thousands lining the winding route of the city’s 150th anniversary parade.

It was the last day of a weeklong party for the city’s sesquicentennial, and the weather was flawless.

“We love Shamokin,” said Anne Neely Chamberlin, of Maggie Valley, N.C., who, with sister Karen Neely, of Camp Hill, awaited the parade to come down Independence Street in the heart of downtown.

“The heart remembers,” Anne said warmly of the sisters’ time growing up in the city’s Bunker Hill section, noting they were there, too, for the 100th anniversary in 1964.

“It’s a wonderful town. We’re proud to be from it and Coal Township,” Karen said.

Residents both present and former recalled their fondness for Shamokin, putting aside the city’s hardships of late for the day, if not the week, as event after event marked the occasion.

Diana Smeal, of Shamokin, was among many people sporting F&S Brewery T-shirts, honoring the defunct and demolished Fuhrmann & Schmidt Brewing Co.

“I’m here to see the cars,” she said, “but also to remember Shamokin.”

June 29 kicked off the happenings, which included a ball, memorial service, numerous concerts and events with Saturday the biggest day of all. The city’s annual and very popular July Fourth fireworks were moved to Saturday night to cap off the anniversary in grand style.

The parade, however, was the crowning jewel. Fire trucks, tankers, ladders and more from many local fire companies led the two-hour long procession that meandered through Shamokin, starting in the Fifth Ward and looping back over main streets and through downtown. Some people said they’d set up chairs early in the morning to get the best views.

Featured in the parade were U.S. Olympian Jayson Terdiman, a Philadelphia Mummers string band, floats from citizens and groups alike, classic cars, fire trucks and bands from brass to polka.

Also among honored guests was Miss Pennsylvania Amanda Smith, who drew the winning ticket for the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro raffle: Lucky Winner Mark Carnuccio, of Shamokin, had bought 10 $10 tickets and landed himself a $37,000 car and the role of parade grand marshal.

A commemorative $10 book of the anniversary was flying out of the bed of Dwayne Ochs’ truck. He drove as Nancy Troxell, of Shamokin, who’s on the 150th Anniversary Committee, and cousins visiting from Colorado peddled the books.

“We’ve sold thousands,” Troxell said breathlessly, “mostly to out-of-towners who want a souvenir. It’s been great.”

 

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