By Kim Ostellino
Everyone loves a parade and Berkshire parades are no exceptions. Our lush landscape and quintessential downtowns provide the perfect backdrop for our area’s festive parades that are held throughout the year. These events draw crowds from far and wide and give friends and families an opportunity to gather together for some memory making moments.
Early on in the year, several Berkshire towns salute our county’s veterans with Memorial Day parades. These parades bring young and old together to honor and celebrate our hometown heroes. The beginning of summer brings one of the county’s most popular parades, the Fourth of July parade in Pittsfield. It is one of the most highly attended events in the Berkshires. The parade first began in 1824 and at one point in its history was considered one of the biggest Fourth of July parades in the entire country. This parade is a crowd favorite and it never disappoints, providing viewers with plenty of floats, and marching bands. As summer draws to a close the town of Lenox brings to the community a parade that harkens back to the Gilded Age with their annual Tub Parade. The parade is a reenactment of the days when estate owners would bedeck their horses and carriages with decorative flowers and ribbons, each buggy (or ‘tub’, as they were referred to then) vying to adorn their carriages with more decorations than their neighbors.
In early October, the Berkshires welcome the autumn season with the Founders Day Weekend Celebration parade in Lee. The town brings everyone together for a weekend celebration that is highlighted with a celebratory parade that has antique cars, floats, and more. In early October North Adams also holds their annual Fall Foliage Parade that takes over the downtown area. This parade has continued for over sixty years and spotlights everything that folks love about autumn. This year Lenox will be celebrating the town’s 250th birthday with a town parade which will be held in early October so be sure to come and celebrate. Looking for something more eerie? Check out Pittsfield’s Halloween parade which continues to offer spooky fun to parade goers year after year. It is a favorite among the youth, who also participate in the parade, by donning their costumes and marching along with the parade. So, if you love a parade, the Berkshires are the place to be!
Kim is a freelance writer, devoted to bringing the best of the Berkshires to locals and visitors alike through her website, Berkshire Girl Online. She is an avid hiker and kayaker, who also loves to explore the cultural and historical sites of the Berkshires.