It’s the emblem of the land we love and one neighborhood in Clarks Summit will have the American flag on center stage this Friday as the annual Fourth of July parade steps off in the Quackenbush Village at 10 a.m.
The tradition began roughly eight years ago when neighborhood residents Harry and Eileen Dammer returned from a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Infused by the spirit of patriotism, they wanted to bring a bit of Americana to their backyard and teach local children about their country’s history.
“This event is all about the children,” said Quackenbush Village resident Helene Magnotta. “We want them to know what the Fourth of July is all about. Every child brings a noisemaker of any kind. They bring their wagons and they have streamers and they get to dress up a little. It is really just about the kids.”
Magnotta has lived in Quackenbush Village for nine years. She explained that the neighborhood gets its name from the Quackenbush family, whose estate is at the top of Oakmont Road. Although the neighborhood is off of Grandview Street, she said that it is not to be confused with the adjacent Floral Park neighborhood.
“We’re a separate neighborhood from Floral Park, although we are nearby,” she said. “Quackenbush Village is just your typical neighborhood in Clarks Summit. I believe there is a quaintness to it.”
All neighborhood children are invited to participate in the Quackenbush Village Fourth of July parade. Children proceed down Holly Lane to the sounds of patriotic music. Some dress in costume, while others play musical instruments or wave flags. For Magnotta, it is a simple event with a profound meaning.
“It’s all about celebrating America’s birthday,” she said. “It’s just a neighborhood gathering. It has increased in size and people come from other neighborhoods to see it, too.”
Following the parade, neighborhood residents gather at the Dammer residence for a small party, including patriotic-themed cookies, watermelon and other summertime
For Magnotta, the best part about living in Quackenbush Village is the community closeness. She said that neighborhood residents also gather during the holidays for a Christmas party and that they also put on other events throughout the year.
“People come back if they used to live in the neighborhood, just to participate in these events,” she said. “It is a lot of fun for the kids. It’s simply beautiful. It is old-fashioned, it’s family-oriented and focuses on kids and what the day is about. There are a lot of flags. It’s nice.”