Community supports first Lansingburgh Christmas parade

LANSINGBURGH — People have been stopping by to drop off supplies for Saturday’s first Christmas parade and tree lighting, showing support for this community.

The owner of Jimmy’s Pizza, Tony Buchanan, came up with the idea not long ago.

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“There used to be right down here on Fifth Avenue, we used to have the Memorial Day parade, the Uncle Sam Day parade. They were huge parades for our community and parades I grew up looking forward to,” said Buchanan. “So with those parades gone, we had to do something, to have something in our neighborhood for our kids to grow up to see. It’s cool, you’re just sitting here and you’re watching vehicles and cars and people go down the street, it brings the community together. You’re all out on the street watching something together, something beneficial, something positive.”

He’s been organizing this for about a week with help from others including Jim Gulli and Vito Ciccarelli.

People are embracing the idea of a big parade from Corliss Park down Fifth Avenue to 110th Street, and over to Powers Park for the tree lighting with music and hot chocolate.

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“This is absolutely fantastic,” said Ciccarelli. “We’ll have community involvement. When you engage the community, they tend to respond to things like this and this has been sorely lacking up here.”

“It looks like it could be a pretty big event. I’ve gotten over 15, 20 organizations involved, not even counting the regular community members who are just throwing their cars in there and decorating and being a part of it,” said Buchanan.

“There might be a special guest appearance from Santa Claus to see all the kids, hand out some candy canes. The Lansingburgh high school chorus is going to be involved. They’re going to sing some Christmas carols around our tree.”

Mark Morine, owner of Big Bellies, is bringing his food truck for the hot chocolate.

“I love to give back to the kids, I love to give back to the community,” he said. “I was born and raised here in the Burgh, my whole family, so I’m part of that.”

Joe Schongar and Bob LaHait with Troy Public Utilities delivered some big burn barrels.

The first grand marshal will be Coach Keith Clickner, who just passed away.

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“The effect he’s had on not just Coach Pass, but the entire Lansingburgh high school community. Players that played for him 30 years ago still reflect on what he was to them,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan would love to see people come out to cheer and wave and feel the Burgh community spirit.

The parade begins Saturday, December 10 at 3pm at Corliss Park (Northern Drive and 5th Avenue). It goes down 5th Avenue to 110th Street, turning there to go to the tree lighting at Powers Park on 2nd Avenue.