Hit Parade

Third Annual Beaty-Warren Parade ‘even better’ than the last

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm The Zem Zem Hornets even made the scene at Thursday’s Third annual Beaty Parade.

What started three years ago as a class parade in the school driveway with a police escort has blossomed into an event with county-wide participation, a street closing and yes, even the Zem Zem Hornets.

Thursday marked the Third Annual Beaty Parade. The parade was held along Conewango Avenue next to Beaty-Warren Middle School, the home school of the completely student-driven event.

The parade theme this year — Beaty Highlighters.

Parade founders, eighth-grade

students Michael Lester and Jasmine Chan, spearhead the theme and parade each year. Chan was excited and maybe a little nervous as emergency vehicles and a variety of groups and organizations lined up for the event.

Chan said she was a “little bit surprised” that the event has grown to include more groups and vehicles each year, but “it was kind of expected,” she said.

Photo submitted to Times Observer The original line-up fro the very first Beaty Parade.

According to their teacher, Lacey Shuler, “Along with emergency vehicles from all over the county, city fire department and Glade VFD were there, and police from every department in the county (state, Conewango, sheriff, youngsville, city. I’m still shocked they all showed!” said Schuler.

“Adult probation came too! They barricaded the roads for me,” she said. “My mind is blown.”

There was a gymnastic group, cheerleaders and even a young kazoo ensemble. The horns, sirens, marchers and zooming Zem Zem Hornets entertained the students, staff and neighbors who lined a section of Conewango Ave. for more than 20 minutes.

Each year’s parade theme must be school-related, according to Chan. She didn’t have any suggestions for next year’s theme but said she may still offer advice after she moves on to the high school next year.

For the original parade, Lester and Chan made Snow White and the Seven Dwarf costumes, according to Schuler. They “were convinced we should have a parade,” she said. “Due to their persistence, on the last day of their sixth grade year I contacted (Warren City Police) Sergeant Joe Bees, who was on patrol and asked him to come to Beaty for a parade.”

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm Matt McClard’s fifth grade music class marched in the Third Annual Beaty Parade. The parade was held along Conewango Avenue next to Beaty Warren Middle School, the home school of the completely student-driven event.

“When he showed up, he was slightly confused by our odd request — Put on your lights, blast your siren and let us follow you down the driveway, but he willingly complied,” Schuler said. “Just like that the Beaty parade was created.”

The students were determined the event wasn’t going to be a one-hit wonder.

“At the start of last school year Michael and Jasmine put two crowns on my desk (one for the parade queen and one for the prince) and said we had to make that year’s “Emoji Parade” even better,” she said. “With the help of Officer Foriska we did.”

Again, the parade was barely over before plans for a bigger version were in the works.

“At the end of last year’s parade someone mentioned that this year we should close down Conewango Avenue for the parade and that’s what we did,” she said.

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm Sergeant Joe Bees escorts Michael Lester the founder of the Beaty Parade.

This years t-shirts were designed by sixth-grader anna McCord and she is already hard at work on the design for next year.

As the parade has grown, the role that Warren City Police play has helped the students bring their dreams to fruition.

“Sergeant Dougherty has been an instrumental part of this year’s planning process,” she said. “He has worked with both me and my students to plan the parade route, where barricades were needed, and walked me through the various forms I was required to complete in order to make the Beaty Highlighter Parade a success.”

“I cannot thank the Warren City Police Department enough,” she said. “They say it takes a village and the entire Beaty community is lucky to have them in ours.”

“Not only did our local police department willingly show up day one, but they came back again and again,” she said. “When a special events application fee was required in order to shut down Conewango, the City of Warren Police Officers’ Association jumped in, without hesitation, and paid this fee.”

Pay close attention to our parade lineup, “It’s easy to see that Warren, Pennsylvania is a pretty special place to live,” Schuler said in reference to the growing parade lineup. “I am blown away!”

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