Dozens of chairs found their way downtown for Warren's Fourth of July parade, but not all of them were able to find their way home afterward.
"We got about a half dozen chairs that were damaged," according to Warren Department of Public Works Assistant Superintendent Vinnie Massa. "They were left behind either because they weren't worth taking out or because of people scattering due to the storm."
The annual parade was cut short for the first time this year due to severe thunderstorms. Residents scattered to get out of the rain approximately 45 minutes after the parade began.
City Department of Public Works employees filled this roll-off dumpster with trash following Warren’s Fourth of July parade. Included in the clean-up were a number of abandoned chairs.
The city has since disposed of the chairs and some accompanying rope left behind by parade-goers.
"We held onto them for a couple of days to see if any residents claimed them," Massa noted. "They didn't appear salvageable."
Chairs began to show up downtown along the parade route well in advance of the parade with dozens already in place by mid-June.
Parade-goers traditionally try to save spots using rope, chains or anything else that can be easily strung around downtown signposts and trees. It's common for those setting up chairs and rope to set lower quality items out due to the potential for theft or damage of unattended items. While awaiting the parade, chairs have also been blown away by wind in the past, sometimes ending up in the Allegheny River.
According to Massa, the city had nine employees working on cleaning up after this year's parade. Starting at 4 a.m. Thursday, July 5 workers walked along the parade route filling garbage bags and running a street sweeper along the curbs. Then garbage was hauled to a roll-off dumpster the city contracted from Veolia Environmental Services for the event.
"Due to this year's storm event, clean-up was substantially lighter in terms of volume of garbage along the parade route," Massa said. "The route was basically cleaned up and fencing removed before downtown business hours began Thursday. We were able to take advantage of the time saved, and a crew went to Betts Park to clean up after the events that were held there the night before. Very proud of our crew for being well organized in performing their duties in such a timely manner."
Massa also thanked members of Cavalry Baptist Church for its clean-up efforts. A volunteer group from the church cleaned along Pennsylvania Avenue from Conewango Avenue to Market Street.