79th annual Glen Rock Independence Day Parade set to take off

More than 70 groups will take part in the parade, which starts Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

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The Fourth of July is days away, and the organizers of the Glen Rock Independence Day parade have been working hard all year to put together the 79th edition of the popular parade. The theme of this year’s parade is “Show your Glen Rock Spirit.’’

The Glen Rock Independence Day Association launched its website, glenrockida.org, on Friday. The website contains all kinds of information about the parade, which was started in 1938. This year, more than 70 groups are participating – they will start, as usual, at Glen Rock High School, at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4, and proceed along Harristown Road to Highland Road, down Highland to Rock, left onto Rock, toward downtown, through the downtown area, and right onto Doremus Avenue, ending at the parking lot of the Glen Rock pool, a circuit that runs 1.9 miles.

Glen Rock IDA treasurer Jim Leonard said while everyone loves the parade, people – like him – who grew up in town, often wish the parade would have more community floats, like the old Harding Road Gang and Berkeley Bunch used to make every year.

“Over the years, the community has always loved the parade, but wished it had more of the town-built floats,’’ Leonard said. “To that end, we can reach out to communities and neighborhoods that want to build it and ride in the parade.’’

With the parade just days away, there’s probably not enough time for groups of people to get together and build a float, but the parade organizers are at least encouraging kids to decorate their bikes and any mode of transportation and ride in the parade, which will feature participation from many different organizations in town, including youth sports organizations, religious groups, and, in an election year, political candidates seeking election to the Borough Council.

If people really want neighborhood floats for next year, Leonard said, then they’re going to have to get together and build them.

In the meantime, watchers of the parade will be entertained by the paid entertainers the committee hires to march in the parade, like the jugglers, marching bands, rock bands, military vehicles, etc. Leonard said the parade costs $10,000 to $15,000 to produce each year, and the organizers have to raise money to pay for it by selling raffle tickets, which are available through local merchants. For more information, visit the IDA’s website, glenrockida.org.

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