Fourth of July -- is there a better place to be than Asbury Park?
Elsewhere there may be fancier parades and gazillons of Macy dollars
spent on opulent fireworks, but if Independence Day is meant to
celebrate the resilience of the American spirit, we'll take Asbury Park
Fourth of July 2007 brought the city's fourth annual parade, and in what
for us is now an annual tradition, Save Tillie marched its prize-winning
float to enthusiastic responses from the largest crowds we've ever seen
as the parade wound its way from Cookman to Main, Main to 5th, and 5th
to Bradley Park where it ended in an amusements extravaganza that could
have been right out of the Palace.
As in years past, Mr. Tillie stole the show, riding a carousel horse at
the front of the float, followed by a beautifully decorated Palace
Ferris wheel carriage full of Save Tillie members. Trailing were two
occupied bumper cars, while candy-tossing marchers and fun lovin'
Lit'Bit put smiles on the faces of kids of all ages.
When you march year after year, comparisons are inevitable and this
year was no exception. This was by far the largest of the four parades,
with new floats reflecting the waves of change sweeping over the city.
We were also struck by physical changes along the parade route. Cookman
Avenue is getting close to reclaiming its glory days as the heart of
Asbury business, and many homes in the residential neighborhoods have
been restored in just the last year.
Here's another indicator of better days -- one close to our hearts.
The Palace photo booth, which we installed just over a month ago at The
Shoppes At The Arcade on Cookman Avenue, had by far its largest single
day of business! Next time you're in Asbury, be sure to check it out.
A huge tip of the Tillie hat to everyone -- Mr. Tillie, Lit'Bit, our
bumper car riders Kate Mellina and Mark Uzzo, Dan Toskaner and Frank
Saragnese (who are completely essential, year after year), our favorite
pre-schooler Elizabeth Flynn and her dad Chris (the famous author), June
and Amanda Lisk, Kathy Cherry, Dave VanPelt and his sister Kim, Samantha
and Sarah and John Johnson, Scott Allegar and Amy Stone, Anne and
Jeffrey Noss, Carl Beams, Melanie Paggioli, Dave Christopher, and Mary
Lynn Purcel (I hope I didn't leave anyone out). It was a great showing
by Team Tillie.