Memorial Day Parade has special meaning in Schoharie | News
SCHOHARIE - Just about nine months ago, Main Street in the Village of Schoharie was submerged beneath ten feet of water. On Thursday night, residents were standing ten people deep along Main Street watching the annual Memorial Day Parade come by.
The event marked another significant milestone in that community's long journey back to normalcy but as people were lining the parade route, still noticeable were several Main Street buildings that were either uninhabitable or under re-construction.
It served as a reminder that even on a day of celebration, many people in the Schoharie Valley are still experiencing heartache.
The Schoharie High School Marching band wasn't just playing music on Thursday night, they were also dispensing heavy doses of medicine. For the people of the Schoharie Valley, the annual Memorial Day Parade was just what the doctor ordered.
"It means a lot to people to be able to have it again," said Schoharie resident Robin Tilison. "They went through enough tragedy so it's time for them to have happiness and bands and music."
"It's been a rough year and a lot of people are trying to get back in their homes," Terri Borst, another village residents points out. "I think a lot of people are ready for a celebration."
And celebrate is what they did. With every Little Leaguer that marched by, with every big red fire truck, and with every beauty queen perched on a float, the appreciative crowd let out an enormous cheer.
For more than an hour, marching bands, muscle cars, and mini go-carts paraded down Main Street. Many of them were tossing candy to children.
Every minute spent enjoying the parade was another minute's escape from the ongoing aftermath of last summer's devastating flood.
"You still have people out there that still need help," reminds Gary Bivins. "You have people that are back in their homes and helping those people. Then you have some whose lives are completely shattered."
"Every time we have a community activity, everybody gathers around and looks at each other in a little different light," says Julie Langan, taking a break from do-it-yourself construction work on her Main Street property. "We all look at each other a little more fondly. It's different. Life is different."
The property Langan was working on during the parade will open as a hair salon June 5th.
"I know we've been working solid," she continues. "We've been working weekends and nights and I know how far we are and still have to go. It's going to be another year or year and a half before we're back to where we were."