Johnstown parade ushers in spirit of the holidays

JOHNSTOWN – The city ushered in the holiday season as the 11th Annual Classic Image Johnstown Holiday Parade made its way downtown Friday night.

Fire trucks, ambulances and flatbed trucks full of waving children filled the six-division parade.

Local businesses also had trucks and floats in many sections of the parade.

Parade organizer Karen Coppola and Johnstown Mayor Sarah Slingerland led the parade on the back of an Alpin Haus boat on a trailer.

Coppola said this year’s theme was “Everybody Loves Christmas.”

“I would say more than previous, we [have] people coming from all over,” Coppola said Friday night.

Jessica Burton of Caroga Lake came to the parade with her two sons and husband.

“It is fun and the kids love it,” she said.

The color guard of the Broadalbin Veterans of Foreign Wars was toward the front of the parade, marching in formation. The color guard was followed by the U.S. Army Tribute Bike. Members of the High Performance Dance studio performed a show as they marched, dancing and cheering on other marchers.

Spectators Linda and Jerry Bobar said they enjoy coming to the parade.

“It is something to do,” Jerry Bobar said. “Gets us out of the house.”

Local businesses were reporting a busy night.

Patty Locatelli, manager at Mysteries on Main Street, watched as people filed into the book store.

Locatelli said the store stayed open late Friday night to benefit from the parade.

Locatelli said that many times, the store’s business comes from repeat visits, with a family coming in the night of the parade and returning on a later date.

Locatelli said she thinks this holiday season will be very good for the business.

“We have a nice loyal customer base,” Locatelli said.

Kelly DeMaio, owner of the Magic Kernel, which opened Thursday, said business has been amazing.

“This is only our second day in business,” DeMaio said. “It’s non-stop.”

DeMaio said the shop popped more than 100 pounds of popcorn Friday night.

Arthur Cleveland can be reached at