The annual Fourth of July pet parade and kids' decorated vehicles parade will live on after all, with Salem Saxon Club bingo manager Annette Jermolenko and the bingo committee taking the helm.
The events kick off with the pet parade at 10 a.m. July 4 (next Friday), immediately followed by the decorated vehicles parade, which can include bicycles, tricycles, wagons or other kid-sized vehicles.
As in recent years, the parades will be held on South Broadway, starting at the Pershing Street end and continuing to the State Street end.
"I want to keep the spirit of Salem alive," Jermolenko said.
When she learned that the events weren't going to happen this year, she said she felt bad and decided to step forward, getting the blessing of her committee members and talking with Mayor John Berlin and Audrey Null of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.
The city agreed to shut the street down for her and the Chamber will provide the trophies from Zeigler's in Salem.
She also managed to get sponsors lined up for items in the goody bags given to participants, with attorney Geoff Goll donating toys, Family Video offering free movies and donations coming from Dr.Vickey Brooks, owner of Adamson Veterinary Services, and Herron Foods, now known as Utz.
Some of the categories for the pets will include longest tail, owner lookalike, most unusual and cutest feline. She said she's hoping for some unique entries. Prizes in the vehicle parade will be given to first, second and third place. There will be new judges this year.
Former councilwoman Mary Lou Popa, who previously ran the parades, announced last week that she was stepping away, with Berlin expressing the hope that someone would take the lead and keep the events going.
July 3 fun and
The pet parade and decorated vehicles parade round out the city's Fourth of July festivities, with most of the celebrating taking place on July 3 at Waterworth Memorial Park beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday.
"Come down and have fun," Salem-Perry Township Crime Watch Director Cara Milhoan said.
Crime Watch is again hosting its annual National Night Out, which serves as the group's only fundraiser. Milhoan said the Arby's Cruisin' Crew will be involved this year, with Gene Johnson providing the music and a car cruise taking place at the park.
Participants in the car cruise should enter off of School Street by the duck pond. A Barney Fife lookalike and his 1963 Ford will visit from Mayberry again, with the Aut Mori Grotto clowns expected to appear at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. She said hot dogs, chips and drinks will be available for purchase and they'll also have blinky necklaces and glow necklaces for when it gets dark. There will also be a petting zoo.
Milhoan said the officers and members of Crime Watch would like to see everybody come out and support Crime Watch, which is still active. The group helped out last week during the Salem Super Cruise.
The night will end with the city's annual fireworks display by Pyrotechnico Fireworks Company of New Castle, Pa., funded through donations solicited by Mayor John Berlin and his administrative assistant Debbie Bricker. The fireworks will begin when it becomes dark on Thursday night.