CANONSBURG (KDKA) — It’s the 50th anniversary of the Canonsburg Fourth of July parade.

With 157 units participating, it’s a far cry from the first march through town, 50 years ago.

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Ex-mayor Tony Colaizzo organized that one, and says they filled the meager ranks with a cement mixer.

“We didn’t have a band, so one of the firemen was counting cadence, and as he was counting cadence, the cement mixer kept going ‘Rrrrr!'”

Former parade chairman Bill Brooks has been involved since 1968.

“It’s just in your heart,” he says. “Gets in your blood, you know what I mean? I’m 68 years old, I got a bad wheel here and I still don’t like to quit.”

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Canonsburg native Adam Brock, a finalist on American Idol, sees the parade from both sides as Celebrity Parade Marshal.

“Oh it’s awesome,” he says. “Seeing this parade for so many years, being a local guy, so it’s good to just be a part of it.”

Bill Brooks sums it up.

“There’s a community here of less than 10,000 people. Now, where does 40,000 … people come from? Something attracts them to come back home.”

Fifty years of flags and cheers add up to a fine parade.

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