Spring celebrated with parade and race
TURNERS FALLS — It was a beautiful day for a run Saturday and according to organizers, 104 people turned out for a five kilometer, 3.1 mile, foot race before the annual Franklin County Spring Parade.
The race, a new addition to the event in its fourth year, was a fundraiser for the planned Unity Skate park and raised $1,700. The money is to be donated to the park campaign in memory of Gregory Ellis, a longtime supporter of the effort killed in a car crash this winter.
Volunteers are trying to raise as much as possible before asking the town to fund the park at the annual town meeting May 3.
After the fast start of the foot race, the event switched to its usual trappings: floats, antique cars and spectators camped out in front yards and on sidewalks along the parade route, which winds around the top of the hill in the area of the police and fire station and the public schools.
“This is one of my favorite events to plan,” said parade director and Selectman Michael Nelson. “After the long winter people really just want to get out and enjoy the sunshine. This event brings together the excitement of warm weather, backyard barbecues and adds the contagious fun that comes with a parade.”
Best Use of Theme: Relay For Life Team Keep Smiling.
Most Spirited Group: Karen’s Dance Studio.
Best Musical Entry: Franklin County Tech School Drum Line.
Sweetest Antique Car: Duane Jenks of Montague.
Most Wicked Awesome Float: Turners Falls Airport/Franklin County Amateur Radio Club.
Most Humorous: Franklin County Boat Club.
Best Agricultural Entry: Simone Fleury and her sparkly cows.
Houses along the parade route:
Biggest Crowd: The Yankowski Family on Crocker Avenue.
Best Fiesta Themed House: The Dion Family on Millers Falls Road.
Happiest Crowd: The Leh Family on Montague Street.
Best Pit Stop: The Worden-Corey Family on Millers Falls Road.
5K top ten results:
Apryl Sabadosa of Westfield won the race in 18 minutes and 13 seconds, followed by Jason Collins of Greenfield, Patrick Pezzati of Montague, Linda Gavin of Turners Falls, Eric Ciocca of Northampton, Nathan McKenney of Vernon, Vt., Barry Scott of Greenfield, Seamus Roche of Shelburne, James Farrick of Northampton and Jason Bassett of South Deerfield.