Save Tillie... Beyond the Palace
Tillie on Parade - Asbury Park
Independence Day, 2006
Save Tillie
Beyond the Palace
Save Tillie float won a trophy for third place in the float category! Click HERE to see the prize.

On the  4th of July Asbury Park, the Independence Day parade wound its way from  the Cookman Avenue shopping corridor to Bradley Park, but in another sense, the  route of  march went through many levels of life. Every seat at fash- ionable sidewalk cafes along Cookman was full; shoppers watched from inside air conditioned galleries and antique shops.  Down the long stretch of Main St, mothers  stood  under  any  available shade tree while their kids darted into the street  to  recover  candy  tossed  from  floats. Many  watched  from windows above  convenient  stores;  some  from  rooftops. Asthe parade turned toward the Shore on 5th, old timers in lawn chairs lined  the route in Sunset Park while on  the  right, homeowners hosted lawn parties. The politicians huddled around the reviewing stand, waiting to be seen.

That's  how  it  seemed  to  the  large Save Tillie contingent that marched in the City's  third  annual  4th  of  July  parade. Despite  hot,  humid  weather  and a serious  threat  of  rain,  the Save Tillie turn out was great, even larger than last year,  but  most encouraging of all was the reaction to our float along the entire length  of  the  route.  Just  as  we  noticed last year, many parents are working hard  to  keep history alive for their kids. Time and again, we could hear moms telling  their  kids:  "Look,  here  comes  Tillie"  and "wave at Tillie."  We heard people  in  every  neighborhood  yelling  encouragement for our efforts to save Tillie. Perhaps  most  importantly, at  least three people cared enough to tell us
(OK, to shout out) that they "miss Tillie."

It  is  too  bad  the  politicans  and  developers  weren't  along to hear what we heard.

As  we  approached  the reviewing stand near the end of the parade, one local politician  made  a  big  point  of  trying  to ignore us.  It was a crude and petty gesture.  In  combination  with  all  the  enthusiasm  we heard along the parade route, however, his actions spoke volumes about the nature of the fight to save the Palace murals. Tillie remains an important part of Asbury Park history, and despite  the views of a few politicians, people want to see Tillie back on public display.

The  reason  we  march  in  Asbury  Park parades is to remind those who miss
Tillie,  those  who support our preservation efforts, and those who are trying to make  history  come  alive  for their kids that we are fighting to make sure Tillie and  the other  Palace artifacts make an eventual return. For giving up a part of their  4th  of  July  to  do  just  that,  a big Tillie tip of the hat to Dan Toskaner, Frank  Saragnese  and  Mary  Lynn Purcel, June and Amanda Lisk, Anne and Jeffrey Noss, Dave Van Pelt and Samantha Johnson and three kids, Chris and Kylene  Flynn  and  our  favorite  Bumper  Car  toddler  Elizabeth  Flynn, John Beemer and Sandy, Heidi Heleniak and Glenn Donatiello, Kathy Cherry, Carl and Kathy Beams, and Pat Zangrillo Crane.  A special thanks to William Sitar of  Iselin,  NJ, once again for allowing us to use an original Palace Ferris wheel
carriage and a fiberglass carousel horse on our float.