By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
“The South Glens Falls Holiday Parade is a 38-year tradition, and I can’t let it die,” said Meg Quinn.
The 28-year-old nurse, mother of two and 2007 South High grad stepped in and will organize it working with the South Glens Falls Fire Company, Mrs. Quinn told The Chronicle exclusively Tuesday.
The parade, a South Glens Falls mainstay since the Joy Store launched it in 1980, will be renamed the “South Glens Falls Fire Company Holiday Parade sponsored by Carriage Traders.”
It’s set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19 — the traditional Sunday before Thanksgiving. The theme and grand marshal will be announced next week, she said.
“Carriage Traders is the main sponsor, the Regional Radio Group is the official radio sponsor, and Dan Miner and Pete Cloutier will announce the parade.
Still seeking $500 sponsors
“We’re still looking for division sponsors,” at $500 each, she said. “So far we have Parks Heritage Federal Credit Union, Finch Paper, Craft on 9 and The Chronicle.”
Mrs. Quinn said right now she has $8,000 in sponsorships, “but I’m hoping for $10,000.” Anyone interested in sponsoring a division or volunteering can call the South Glens Falls Fire Company at 518-798-4020 or send them a private message through the company’s Facebook page.
Says ‘I grew up with the parade’
“I grew up with the parade, and so did my father,” she said. “I lived on Wilson Avenue in the Village, and the parade went right by there. I just didn’t want it to end.
“It’s the start of the holiday season for us, and I’m sure for a lot of other people, too. I’m doing this for my two boys and for all of the local families who look forward to this parade every year.”
Mrs. Quinn, a obstetrics/gynecology licensed practice nurse with Hudson Headwaters Health Network, lives in Moreau with husband Nick and their sons Andrew (5) and Peter (1). She said the Fire Company “brings a lot of manpower. I met with the board Monday night, and they are gung ho and ready to go. They are always looking for new ways to be involved in and support the community, and they wanted to help.”
The Post-Star announced in June that they were ending their parade sponsorship after three years. After the Joy Store closed, TD Bank sponsored the parade for 15 years, from 1994 to 2008, and Glens Falls National Bank from 2009 to 2013.
‘New to the process, late to the game’
Does Mrs. Quinn know what she’s getting into? “I have a pretty good idea,” she said, laughing. “It’s a lot, but volunteering is a passion of mine, and I will have a lot of help. I couldn’t do it without the Fire Company, which is my life and my family’s life.”
Mrs. Quinn is a member of the Fire Company Auxiliary. Her husband is first assistant fire chief, and his whole family is active in the fire company.
“We’ve got the support to make it happen,” she said. “And the community has been very helpful in understanding I am new to the process and very late to the game.”
The long-time South High Marathon Dance volunteer added, “I’m hoping to convince some fellow SHMD volunteers to help out with the parade as well.”
Tom Tracy ‘is our parade guru’
Tom Tracy, a 60-year fire company member, “is our parade guru. He organizes the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association parades every year. He’s our go-to guy and will be co-chair along with me.”
Mrs. Quinn, a hot air balloon pilot who is also on the planning committee for the Adirondack Balloon Festival, said she hopes to continue collecting toys at the parade for the Tri-County Marines’ “Toys for Boys and Girls” program run by Hudson Falls-based Memorial Detachment 2 of the Marine Corps League.
Plans to collect non-perishable food items are also in the works, she said.
“We want to keep the toys and the food right here in the community,” she said.
Copyright © 2017 Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.