2018 NWPA ALF Labor Day Parade in Review

Thanks to you, on Monday, September 3, 2018, the Labor Day Parade in Erie, Pa, was a huge success with approximately 2000 union members marching down the street.  County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper welcomed everyone and introduced Representatives Patrick Harkins and Ryan Bizzarro and Senator Dan Laughlin who announced each group as they approached the stage in Perry Square.

Our Labor Day Parade Advertisement on 9-2-18 included 55 units of which 11 were community supporters. Some of those units were district councils which included several unions each. In all we had approximately 2,000 members of 45 unions and 10 community groups that walked down the street. We had 5 floats and approximately 50 vehicles ranging in size from a mini car to an 80’ vehicle with an earth mover on it. These companies received the best advertisement possible when we educated the public on where to find quality products and services performed by our union members. In addition we had dogs, motorcycles, three-wheeled vehicles, bikes, strollers, wagons and wheelchairs. The wagons most often were used for carrying the more than 1300 pounds of candy down the street; some were uniquely decorated by our members. The theme of the parade was “United in Solidarity and Service!” which was the result of a contest won by Hannah Weller a high school senior from Grove City. Included in the DVD sent to each unit was a short video describing why she chose that slogan.

We were honored to have the VFW Post 470 Honor Guard lead our parade.  Next in line was the Erie Veterans Center. The City of Erie and our IAFF 293 members escorted a firetruck riding on the firetruck was our Fire Chief Guy Santone and the Assistant Fire Chief, The McDowell and Erie High Marching Bands added to the excitement and entertained all. The best thrill for the children came with the addition of the ERIEsistable Clowns and the Jolly Jesters, who took the time to interact with them as they waited for the parade to start and even as they travelled down the street. The Erie County Sheriff Department joined us for the first time.

 We were joined by many community organizations: Erie County Democratic Party, Venango County Democratic Party, Erie CPR,  Erie County United, HealthCare 4 All PA, Keystone Progress, Mental Health Association of NWPA,  RAGE Retirees Association of General Electric and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, all of which their members often join us at events.

Completing the list of participating union organizations are: AFSCME DC 85, AFSCME 1771, AFSCME 2184, AFSCME 2206,  AFSCME 2367, AFSCME 2902, AFSCME 8500,  APSCUF-EUP, APWU 269, AWIU 2, CWA 13000-AT&T, CWA 38187(Erie Newspaper Guild), Erie FOP 7, Erie County Sheriff Department, IAFF 293,  IAM District 98, IAM 1211, IBEW 56, IBEW 459, IBT 8-Penn State, IBT 397,  IUOE 66, IUOE 95, IUPAT DC 57, IUPAT 549,  NALC 284, OPCMIA 526,  OPEIU 277 (American Income Life),, PSEA NW Region, PSEA-EEA, PSEA MRC,  Roofers 210, SEIU 668, SMART 12, UA 27, UA 449, UA 669, UBC 420,  UE 506, UE 618, UFCW ONE,  United Home Healthcare Workers, USW 3199, The Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council, Indiana-Armstrong CLC, Venango-Clarion CLC and last but not least the NWPA Area Labor Federation.

Our Judges were more of labor’s friends and supporters; Erie County Councilmen Carl Anderson, Scott Rastetter, and Kyle Foust and City Councilman Bob Merski. They reviewed the groups, floats and vehicles before the parade began and determined the winners, when the last group passed the bandstand they walked up and announced our winners. They are as Follows:

  • Best in Float; 1st Place AFSCME DC85, 2nd Place AFSCME 8500, 3rd Place Erie-Crawford CLC.
  • Best in Vehicles: 1st Place UE 506, 2nd Place Roofers 210, 3rd Place IBT 397.
  • Most Participation: 1st Place UE 506, 2nd Place IBT 397, 3rd Place Steamfitters 27
  • Largest Youth Participation: 1st Place; UA 449, 2nd Place UBC 420, 3rd Place IBT 397.
  • Travelled the longest distance: 1st Place OPEIU 277, 2nd Place AFSCME DC 85, 3rd Place AWIU 2.
  •  Largest Percentage of membership participation; 1st Place SMART 12, 2nd Place IBEW 56 and 3rd Place Roofers 210
  • Entertainment; 1st Place Erie High Marching Band, 2nd Place McDowell Marching Band, 3rd Place EriResistable Clowns and Jolly Jesters.
  • Best decorated candy Wagon was won by IAFF 293.

The officers and delegates of the NW PA Area Labor Federation would like to extend our sincere appreciation for your involvement and assistance in our 2018 Labor Day Parade. Whether you volunteered during the planning stages or the day of the parade, joined us as we walked down the street, helped sponsor the parade, or were one of the vendors in or near the park, we could never have achieved this tremendous success without you. Our parade was aired live thanks to Highmark and CATV Channel 2 on Spectrum Cable channel 1021 and streamed via the internet on www.catverie.com and www.facebook.com/nwpaalf . The weather was great and the fellowship was spectacular, and is looking forward to doing it again on Monday, September 2nd, 2019.  Please mark your calendars.

Thanks again and we’ll see you all next year.