Annual holiday parade held in Schenectady

November 18, 2017 11:34 PM


“It's a big event for the kids to come and see the floats and the lights and the bands,” said Paul Dougall. 

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State Street in Schenectady was filled with people braving the cold and rain at The Annual Daily Gazette Holiday Parade Saturday.

“They bring blankets, they bring hot chocolate and so forth,” Dougall said.

Dougall, a Schenectady native, attended the parade with his wife, Magda.

He has been attending the event for about 20 of the parade's 49-year history.

“We also have four kids so our daughter is performing as a color guard tonight,” Dougall said. 

“I like the ambiance,” Magda Dougall said. “The lights, the people. It's nice.” 

The parade’s theme this year was “The Parade of Lights: 125 years of Schenectady,” which was a tribute to the 125th anniversary of parade sponsor, General Electric, being in the city. 

“So we're encouraging the participants: the bands, the floats, the other people marching in the parade, is how do you display your message in lights,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. 

The firefighters, dancers and other performers answered the call in their own ways.

Even a holiday tree was lit before the parade began. 

The event is considered the largest nighttime parade in the northeast.

It attracts thousands of people from across the Capital Region, both big and small.

The cheerleaders impressed 8-year-old Aubrei Rowden. 

“I think my favorite part of the parade was the girls with the pompoms,” Rowden said. 

8-year-old Marzel Gordon got a kick out of the Kermit the Frog balloon. 

“The big frog balloon,” Gordon said. 

For the first time in the parade’s history, an award was given to the best band, named for Chuck Steiner, the late Capital Region Chamber of Commerce President.

“He spent so much time building this parade up,” Mayor McCarthy said. “Unfortunately he passed away earlier this year.”

“It's nice that the city does this and all the people that participate,” Dougall said. 

Aside from The Daily Gazette, the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Schenectady also helped organize the event. 


WNYT Staff

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