Organizers won’t let wet forecast rain on their parade

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GALLOWAY– Parade organizers are not letting the threat of showers rain on their parade.

“We are determined to make sure this parade goes on,” said Rich Maxwell, parade organizer on Tuesday, July 1.

Forecasters are predicting thunderstorms, severe in spots in the region on Wednesday, July 2, possible torrential rains on Thursday, July 3 and rain on Friday morning, July 4.

But Maxwell said despite the soggy prediction, organizers and about 190 participants will be ready to go.

“We have never had to cancel the parade,” Maxwell said. “About four years ago we had it an hour later.”

The parade, in its 15th year, is scheduled to start at 9 a.m., July 4 at Smithville Boulevard and proceed down Moss Mill Road. A post-parade ceremony will be at the Historic Smithville Village, located at 615 E. Moss Mill Road.

While some may wonder why organizers do not just have a rain date, Maxwell said there is a good reason why the parade must go on.

 “We have road closings approved by Atlantic County. We also have police presence,” Maxwell said. “It is a very coordinated thing and it would be very difficult to say, ‘We’ll do it the next day’.”

Mike Dilullo has been on the parade committee for 10 years.

“We never had to cancel a parade,” he said. “We only held up the parade for about an hour in the past.”

Like Maxwell, Dilullo said there are a lot of factors involved that would make it difficult to postpone the parade, including scheduled assistance from Galloway public employees such as police, fire and EMS personnel, as well as the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Department.

“There won’t be a rain date. If there is a storm we will just cancel the parade,” Dilullo said.

But that decision will not be made until the morning of the parade, literally at 9 a.m. on July 4. The only way the parade would be cancelled is if there is lightening, Dilullo said.

“If there is a light shower the parade is on,” Dilullo said.

The theme of this year’s parade, which is estimated to be Galloway’s biggest and best parade ever, is “Honoring our Military Medical Personnel, Past and Present.”

One of the floats, a Civil War Medical Tent, is sure to catch the eye. 

“We can’t forget our veterans or our troops. That is what it is all about,” Dilullo said. “Sure it takes all year to prepare for this, but it is worth it when you watch the kids on the curb waving the American flags.” 

See related stories:

Galloway’s Fourth of July Parade to be biggest ever 

Galloway Fourth of July Parade 

Galloway's parade for the veterans passes smoothly [Slideshow] 2013

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