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Martinsburg ag parade on again

MARTINSBURG — The annual Morrisons Cove Agriculture Parade appeared to be a victim of COVID-19, but due to public outcry, organizers have decided to continue the tradition — with some modifications.

Mayor Richard Brantner Sr. said the parade, which will be held on June 30, was initially canceled because the needed permits from the state could not be obtained. The parade typically travels down state routes 164 and 866.

“We could not obtain a permit from PennDOT. It all had to do with the crowds and COVID-19,” he said.

Morrisons Cove Memorial Park Director Chuck

Gojmerac said because of the negative reaction to the parade’s cancellation, the parade committee, Martinsburg Borough Council and PennDOT representatives got together with state Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Hollidaysburg, to find a way to hold it without the needed state permits.

“Together, we were able to devise a workable plan,” he said.

The new parade route will take the “back roads,” only crossing the state routes, which Gojmerac said is permitted if the borough provides police control.

According to Gojmerac, the route this year will begin at the Martinsburg VFW, travel four blocks north to West Julian Street, where it will proceed for six blocks before reaching North Walnut Street, and ending at the park.

“This may not be ideal for what we have become accustomed to, but we all have had to make major lifestyle changes this year, and changing the parade is part of that,” Gojmerac said.

Brantner said this year’s parade will look different because they are asking that no large equipment or tractors participate because of the narrow streets along the parade route.

Brantner said social distancing and other COVID-19 recommendations will be followed.

“We’re requesting participants not throw candy this year,” he said.

Brantner stressed that the borough’s only involvement in the parade was granting permission for the park to hold it.

Brantner said the Martinsburg Agriculture Parade, known locally as the “world’s largest small-town parade,” attracts large crowds.

“People show up from all over, not just Martinsburg,” he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Rick Boston is at 946-7535.

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