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Massapequa Park Celebrates with Parade and Patriotism

Annual parade brings community together.

America is 235-years-old and has never looked better, particularly in Massapequa Park.

The village held it's annual parade Monday morning and the streets were awash with red, white and blue and crowded with residents.

For many who live on the parade route which runs down Lake Shore Drive and Park Boulevard, it's a tradition they look forward to.

"We come here every year, said Lisa Cain, who lives near Lake Shore Drive. "It has a hometown feel to it. You feel like you live in a small town."

"It has a nice local flair," said Jonathan Hayden, 40, another local resident. "It's wonderful to be able to celebrate the Fourth with the community as a whole."

There were bands, antique cars, twirlers, boy scouts, little leaguers and representatives from civic oraganizations who passed out flags and candy.

"My favorite part is when they throw out the candy!" said Gina Valerio, who says she's "8 and a half years-old."

"Mine too!" said her younger sister Gabriella who's six and a half.

"Mine too!" said the girls' 68-year-old grandmother Camilla Valerio.

The girls' father, Frank Valerio, 40, said he's looked forward to the parade, since the family moved to the area seven years ago.


"I think it's good for the kids to learn about July Fourth," he said. "I feel Massapequa is a very patriotic town.

The march was led by local politicians including legislator Peter Schmidt and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, who rode in a car with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

Members of the Oyster Bay Town Council and Massapequa Park Village Board also joined the march.

Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, R-Massapequa, also rode in an antique car.

"The Fourth of July is an excellent time to thank our veterans and thank the people of the community who've made it what it is," he said.

Veterans groups followed the elected officials, and military trucks and tanks took part in the parade.

"It's a glorious birthday," said Richard Begandy, the commander of VFW Post 7763. "It just shows you what a great country the United States of America is."

Members of the Massapequa Fire Department marched at the end of the long line.

"It's a tradition that the fire department has been in the parade as long as it's existed," fire chief Peter Anglim said.

"It's a parade our members are proud of and the community seems to love to see us. We've always gotten a great response."

Teri Wood, 61, wouldn't have missed it for the world. She's been watching the parade for as long as she can remember.

"I've been coming here for years," she said. "I came with my parents, I brought my kids, now I'm bringing my grandchildren.

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