The Greater Glenside Patriotic Association
Aiming to raise more than $55,000 needed to pay for the Abington/Cheltenham area's annual, family-friendly, morning-into-night Independence Day Celebration of Thursday, July 4, the event's not-for-profit sponsor, the Greater Glenside Patriotic Association (GGPA), has scheduled two local fundraisers for March and April.
Second event: The association's yearly Food-Drink-Entertainment Social is set for Friday, March 1, from 7 to 11 p.m. Click here for more details
Widely heralded over recent years as the biggest and best Independence Day Celebration in Great Philadelphia’s tri-state suburbs, the Glenside-Abington community’s 110th annual marking of America’s birth will again feature ongoing, morning-into-night, family-friendly patriotic activities on Thursday, July 4th 2013. (Raindate Saturday, July 6th 2013).
Celebrating America’s 237th birthday, all festivities are again being sponsored by the not-for-profit Greater Glenside Patriotic Association (GGPA) and will begin at 10 a.m. with the We Love America Children’s Program, a free admission staging.
Conducted yearly at Cheltenham Township’s Harry Renninger Memorial Park, Keswick Ave. at Waverly Rd. in south Glenside, the children’s gala will traditionally start with decorated bicycle and stroller contests. Following will be boys and girls field sports events at 10:30 a.m., and the serving of children’s refreshments at 12 noon.
Then, beginning at 4 p.m., comes the huge, 110th Annual Grand, Glorious, Patriotic Parade. The 1.5 mile trek through the heart of Glenside’s business district is among America’s oldest, consecutively run 4th of July marches.
The parade route: from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 676 at Rosyln Ave. in north Glenside, east along Jenkintown Rd., south on Easton Rd., and east on Waverly Rd. to Keswick Ave.
The parade’s lead-off “United We Stand” division will also present a power-house of musical diversity, starting with the award-winning Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps. This 150-member aggregation, the largest musical marching unit in Glenside parade history, is headquartered in Berlin, NJ, and making it’s fourth consecutive appearance in the local July 4th march.
When competing in the 2007 World Championship International Drum Corps Competition in Pasadena, CA, Jersey Surf won the second place silver medal, missing the championship by three-tenths of a point.
Also in the lead division will be the perennial title-winning Fralinger String Band, unprecedented seven straight yearly victors (2003-2009) in Philadelphia’s New Year’s Day Mummers’ Parade.
Additionally, the first division will offer the Rajah Temple Shrine Band, representing the Reading, PA, locale, and the Colonial-attired Olde Barracks Fife and Drum Corps, based at Trenton, NJ.
The Caesar Rodney Brass Marching Band, of Wilmington, DE, will head the parade’s second division, “America Patriots and Heroes,” and play the U.S. national anthem at five locations: the march start on Jenkintown Rd.; Easton and Jenkintown Rds.; at Keswick Village, Easton and Keswick Ave.; before the reviewing stand at the main entrance of St. Luke the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Easton and Fairhill Ave.; and Easton and Waverly Rd.
The parade’s final division, “Let Freedom Ring,” is expected for a 6 p.m. arrival at the reviewing stand.
Also parading will be more musical units; numerous U.S. military and veterans groups; Abington and Cheltenham Townships and Jenkintown Borough Police Departments; volunteer fire companies from local and nearby areas; emergency rescue organizations; community, church and business representations; service clubs; patriotic floats; clowns; novelty attractions; dance companies; stilt walkers; historic vehicles; and antique autos.
For the 13th consecutive year, the celebration finale will be an “America the Beautiful Aerial Fireworks Spectacular,” expected to begin about 9:15 p.m. The only free-admission show in Eastern Montgomery County and lower Bucks Counties, the $15,000 display will include nearly 1,000 high-level rockets.
They will be fired by a veteran crew of pyro technicians from the Pyrotechnico (PA) Fireworks Co., and triggered off a launch site within Abington Township’s maintenance yard on Florey Lane, east of Easton Rd.
Prime viewing areas will be Abington Senior and Junior High Schools’ parking lots and athletic fields; Copper Beach Elementary School parking facilities off Easton Rd.; sidewalks along Easton, south of Bradfield Rd.; and the Glenside Gardens community including and south of Charles St.
To help clear post-fireworks vehicular traffic, Abington Police will temporarily make Charles St. one-way westbound. On-street parking will also be banned along both north and south sides of Charles St., between Ghost and Easton Rds., from the afternoon of July 4 until traffic clears later that night, probably after 10 o’clock.
The celebration’s sponsoring Greater Glenside Patriotic Association offered the following clarification this year: “Some have believed, over the years, that because Abington and Cheltenham Townships host elements of, and provide value logistical support to, the local 4th of July celebration, that these municipalities also pay for the overall event. Actually, the celebration’s entire cost (now at $50,000) is paid by the not-for-profit Greater Glenside Patriotic Association, as a result of tax-deductible contributions to the all-volunteer membership, 501 ©  group.”
“Participating Patriot” contributions are appreciatively accepted year-round by the patriotic association at P.O. Box 72, Glenside, PA, 19038-0072.
More information is available at the GGPA web site: www.glensidejuly4event.com
Having marched in five of the last seven Glenside parades, Gov. Edward G. Rendell told a local TV interviewer three years ago, “Across Pennsylvania, none’s better than Glenside on the 4th of July!”
By Wm. B. Hall, Media/P.R. Director, Greater Glenside Patriotic Assn.