Brockway Community Celebrates 56th Annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) – The official designation is the 56th Annual Brockway Old Fashioned Fourth of July, but residents in Brockway also celebrated 200 years of the Brockway family living in the Little Toby Valley.

(Pictured above: Brockway High School Marching Band in the Fourth of July parade.)

Brockway’s annual Fourth of July celebration focused on the history of American Independence, but also the history of the community.

Mayor Bill Hrinya opened his comments by talking about the Declaration of Independence, reminding everyone of the importance of the document as both an announcement that the United States was breaking away from the most powerful country at the time and a call for allies. In addition, Taylor Memorial Museum’s Rob Keith explained how 2022 is the 200th anniversary of Brockway.

Riders prepare to compete in the Tour de Brockway.

Runners in the Firecracker 10K Race run through downtown Brockway.

“Chauncey Brockway and a small group of people purchased 400 acres in Weedville,” he explained. “They traveled here and nearly died fording a river and during the winter. Then, in 1821, John Smith Brockway negotiated the purchase of the present site of Brockway.”

Quoting from Lew Reddinger’s history book on the story on Brockway and the surrounding area, Keith explained that the land became open due to back taxes and how it was negotiated. Then, in 1822, the Brockway Family settled on the land they purchased, bringing them to the Little Toby Valley. To recognize this, descendants of the Brockway Family rode on a float in the annual parade.

Celebration for the Fourth of July started the Thursday before with the Brockway Ministerium hosting the Fourth of July Vespers at Brockway Presbyterian Church. From there, the whole town was filled with patriotic activities and games.

Mayor Bill Hrinya reads the Declaration of Independence.

The Frank Varischetti All-Star Football Game followed on Friday, leading into corn hole competitions, a basketball tournament, a roller hockey all-star game, and the big events: the Firecracker 10K and Fun Run and the Tour de Brockway on July 4.

July 4 was packed from 8:30 a.m. when the 10K started to around 9:30 p.m. when the fireworks launched.

Early in the morning, the Brockway Area Kaimanns set to work at the charcoal beds and cooked up 777 chickens.

The Brockway Volunteer Hose Company sold 250 dozen donuts from their trailer along Main Street.

Vendors filled the parking lot of Varischetti Field selling lemonade, funnel cake, and carnival food.

The roller ball maze was one of the many attractions in the park.

In Taylor Memorial Park, visitors took horse-drawn carriage rides, trolley rides, and played in various bouncy houses. They were entertained by a man dressed as a walking tree, hypnotists, magicians, and clowns.

The annual fishing derby kicked off right next to the American Legion Memorial Stage, which hosted the traditional patriotic program, the crowning of Miss Brockway’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July, and multiple musical acts including Italian and Italian-American music from Edwardo Music and The Cavaliers, a Bon Jovi tribute band, a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band, and a big band.

ACE Hardware Float at the Brockway Fourth of July Parade.

Brockway Fire Department participating in the parade.

Selena Buttery was crowned Miss Brockway Old Fashioned Fourth of July. Buttery is going to the Chaminade University of Honolulu where she will play both basketball and tennis while majoring in data science and environmental analytics. She is the daughter of Suzanne and Steven Buttery. She was her senior class president and involved in many activities at Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School, as well as being a tennis district champion and a part of the district champion basketball team.

Pittsburgh Steelers drumline.

Pittsburgh Steelers drumline marching in the parade.

The parade filled the streets with fire departments from surrounding areas, marching bands from various schools and fire departments, bagpipes, appearances by local representatives, and tiny horses. The 56th annual celebration ended with fireworks.

Classic Cars in Brockway.

More on the Brockway Old Fashioned Fourth of July can be found at its website, which was recently updated.

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