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'Reside with pride' Smithsburg event continues today

July 18, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Americans love parades, but what exactly is it that draws that passion, that makes people line the streets in advance, waving flags and clapping and cheering?

The big cars, small cars, new cars or old cars? The majorettes, flashing lights or marching bands? An inner feeling of peace or maybe an appreciation for the paramilitary marching structure?

Or is it something else, something less esoteric and more practical?

"I think maybe the candy," said Ken Kilheffer, one of the many people who watched the parade Saturday morning during Smithsburg Pride Days, an annual event that continues today.

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Kilheffer and his dog, Boo, watched the parade while sitting near the intersection of Main and Water streets.

"Oh, I just come out and see what they got. Be a part of the community," said Kilheffer, who moved with his wife to Smithsburg from Minnesota last summer. His wife grew up in Smithsburg.

As for Boo, even handfuls of candy thrown his way weren't enough to hold his attention.

"I don't know whether he's enjoying it or not," Kilheffer said. "Too much noise."

For Jan Clopper, Pride Days, an event that has been going on for the past 11 years, is a chance for people to get together, meet new people and talk. Many at the parade, in fact, carried balloons that read, "Reside with pride."

"It's a way to bond with the community," said Clopper, who has lived in Smithsburg for 25 years.

She said she liked watching the majorettes. It's a hobby Clopper tried to take up as a child, but found difficult because she's left-handed and was trying to learn from a right-handed perspective.

During the 45-minute parade, emergency vehicles, a marching band, two groups of majorettes, cheerleaders, a mule-drawn wagon, military Jeeps, tractors and politicians passed by. At the intersection of Main and Water streets, an antique car stopped and Dick Newcomer stepped out.

The crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to Newcomer, who turned 93 years old. A good sport, he sang along.

"For me, it's like the only time you see the neighbors," Lorie Bachtell said. "Everybody's out having fun."

Her young son, Noah, said he liked everything.

"The candy, too," he said.

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