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.