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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

MARTHA WASHINGTON (WHO is known here in the 21st century as Antonette Barni) leads the procession down the road at the ninth annual Debruce Family Labor Day Parade.

Daring to Be Different
In DeBruce

By Rob Potter
DEBRUCE — September 7, 2001 – The people who organize the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City should be a bit nervous.
Why? Because this past Monday’s annual DeBruce Family Labor Day Parade featured more marchers and floats than ever before.
And if the DeBruce parade keeps growing next year and the year after that, maybe . . .
All kidding aside, the DeBruce Family Labor Day Parade probably will never approach the size and spectacle of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But by the same token, those who organize and participate in the Macy’s Parade probably will never experience the same amount of fun and excitement as those who take part in the DeBruce Parade.
“This parade has a kind spirit,” said Antonette Barni, who marched in the parade for the first time and was dressed to look like Martha Washington. “It’s great that all these people from different walks of life and labor in different ways can join together and celebrate Labor Day.”
Several participants agreed that the 2001 parade was about double the size of the 2000 parade. Indeed, Monday’s parade featured several antique automobiles, youngsters on bicycles and scores of marchers.
One of the biggest marching groups was DUMB – as in the DeBruce Uniformed Marching Bagpipe Band. The band, however, was not playing bagpipes. Instead they were “playing” paper shopping bags.
Steve Dill – who along with his brother Carl and some other friends and family members began the parade in 1993 as a short walk down the road for something to do – rode along the route on his blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Riding with Dill, as is the parade custom, was Ms. Labor Day 2001 “Lorena La Rubia” (better known to family and friends as Lorna Wallenstein).
As they have since the inaugural parade on Labor Day 1993, the participants made their way from Dill’s residence to a parking area about one-quarter-mile down the road and turned around. On its return trip to the Dill residence, the parade procession stopped at the flag pole at the intersection of County Route 83 and Goff Road for a short ceremony.
The ceremony included former parade queen Lynn Carlin reciting a poem about Labor Day.
Once back at the Dill home, the parade participants enjoyed some refreshments and music. Several photo albums containing snapshots from past parades elicited smiles and giggles from several people as they leafed through the albums.
Julian Siano, who along with Steve Dill and Floyd Cook, Jr. has been a member of the parade planning committee from the event’s creation, put on an atle-atle demonstration. He taught people how to throw the javelin-like objects for maximum distance.
Several parade participants noted that community spirit and the sheer fun of the event have helped it grow so much. In 1993, about 10 members of the DeBruce community marched down the road, while Monday’s parade included hundreds of participants and spectators.
“It still has a local feeling,” said Wallenstein, who lives in New York City the majority of the year. “This is a wonderful event to bond the community.”
“Just about everyone ends up being in it,” Pat Coster added.
Steve Dill noted that 125 people were in the 2000 parade and he estimated that at least 250 people participated in the 2001 parade.
“Hopefully, it will get even bigger next year,” Dill said.

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