The five-division parade that kicked off Coaldale's 175th birthday celebration on Sunday may have only lasted an hour, but those who witnessed it were ready to anoint it a five-star success.
Complete with veterans, fire departments, six musical organizations, community and church groups, and historical groups and dance studios, the parade proved to be a big hit with spectators who caught a glimpse of a joint community venture -- and a prominent beauty queen.
The parade -- despite facing the ongoing threat of thundershowers -- started at Phillip and East streets, continued on to Sixth and High streets and ended at Second and High streets.
As a special attraction, Miss Pennsylvania Autumn Marisa of Waynesburg, Greene County, also participated.
In addition, a special "just for kids" Halloween division was included as part of the parade.
After the parade, St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital held an open house for its new $3.5 million Emergency Services Department.
John Terray, co-chairman of the Coaldale 175th Anniversary Parade Committee, said he was especially pleased to see so much community involvement in the parade.
"The parade went very well. In fact, it was longer than we anticipated," Terray said. "It was really humbling, and I'd like to thank everyone who entered as well as anyone else who was involved for making it a huge success."
Though the biggest and perhaps most significant, the parade is just one of many activities the borough planned for the year.
In July, the borough held its third annual Community Day. Complete with festive food, music and helicopter tours, the event drew nearly 3,000 people, more than in the first two years combined.
On Oct. 25, the borough will hold a Mother Jones March.
The march, which will pass through the borough, is in honor of Mary Harris Jones, who gained national recognition by helping establish labor unions to improve working conditions for coal miners, factory workers and railroad employees in the early 1900s.
As part of the celebration, a historical marker will be placed near a bus shelter along Route 209 in Coaldale.