Holiday parade draws the politicians

While thousands gathered on the Mall for fireworks and a concert, Takoma Park residents march in the city's 121st annual Independence Day parade.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 4, 2010; 5:48 PM

At the annual Palisades Parade, the lineup was dominated by politicians. As they marched down MacArthur Blvd., Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and his supporters flung out Mardi Gras beads and stickers to the crowd. They were followed by supporters of D.C. Council members Vincent Gray, Mary Cheh, Phil Mendelson and a dozen others.

Some paradegoers said they were less than thrilled with the high politician turnout.

"It kind of dilutes the local flavor of the parade," said Peter Pelham, 48, who grew up blocks away from the parade route.

Longtime resident Beatrice Meyerson said: "The ratio of politicians to everything else is too high. It's more fun to watch bands and kids."

But for other spectators, the essential parts of the event hadn't changed.

Luise Moskowitz, 44, watched bagpipe players, Boy Scouts and fire trucks weave their way down the street. It was a familiar scene for Moskowitz, who grew up marching in the parade.

Now she resides in Philadelphia, but takes her family back to MacArthur Blvd. for the Fourth of July every year.

"Now I get a kick out of it because my kids get to enjoy it," said Moskowitz, a freelance communications consultant. "And they look forward to it because they get to collect candy, second only to Halloween."

Her daughter, Triona Lawrence, 6, sat perched on the curb with a paper bag in hand. A parader in a car tossed candy on the asphalt and she lunged at it.

"Look at her go! Look at her go!" Moskowitz said.

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