Mainly grape times

SILVER CREEK – The book closed on the 46th annual Festival of Grapes Sunday afternoon with cheering and applause all the way down Main Street in the village of Silver Creek.

The weekend-long festivities culminated on their fourth and final day with a parade that lasted about an hour-and-a-half.

Various local organizations and individuals seeking public office marched in the event.

Several groups stopped in front of the parade podium (where Master of Ceremonies Mark James of KIX Country officiated) to perform different routines. Groups included the Collage Performing Arts Center, the RubberMade Brigade and the Western New York Alumni Drum Corps Inc.

One of the more unique floats was a replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The float was created by VFW Post #8265 in Eden.

Retired Silver Creek School principal Mac Crowe served as the parade’s Grand Marshal.

Afterward, audience members praised the parade’s organization, but expressed disappointment over the weather that canceled several much-anticipated events on Saturday.

“The parade was awesome, but I didn’t see one of my favorite yearly acts, the Shriners, in it!” Kathy Kirst said. “I did enjoy the bagpipes, the bands and the Saint Columban’s (on the Lake) marchers, since I work for them.”

“In all my years coming down to the Grape Festival, I don’t remember a washout as bad as (Saturday’s),” Marge Close said. “It was disappointing to see and I felt bad for the vendors. I hope they can make some of (their earnings) up (Sunday).”

“It’s really too bad Mother Nature played a part in putting a damper on some of the activities, especially for the kids’ activities (on Saturday). But, overall, I think this weekend was a success for everyone,” Silver Creek Mayor Nick Piccolo said. “The parade was definitely entertaining this year.”

Piccolo praised the Festival of Grapes Committee’s hard work in putting the event together, as well as its choice of Crowe as Grand Marshal.

“This was my first year as committee chairperson and, except for the weather, I was very well-pleased with how everything went,” Festival of Grapes Committee Chair Lisa Romano said. “I’m looking forward to another year in that role and I want to thank everyone who participated and hope that they come again next year. I also want to thank all the board members and volunteers who put endless hours into this. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

The committee is made up entirely of volunteers.

“Another year down for them, another year closer to the 50th year celebration,” Piccolo added.

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