Classic auto fans in the Olmsted Historical Society love a parade so much they’ve organized one for July 4, in lieu of the traditional Independence Day fireworks and festivities canceled by city officials due to health concerns.
Organizers for the parade plan for it to contain up to 10 classic cars and a 1929 Seagrave fire pumper truck that society member John Baker and a team of volunteers restored during the last year. The historic pumper truck was given to the society as a long-term loan by the North Olmsted Fire Department in the 1970s. In addition to the classic old cars and trucks, the parade will have an escort from current North Olmsted police and firefighters.
The parade is scheduled to start at noon from the Frostville Museum Campus in the Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks, go up Cedar Point Hill and proceed through different developments and roadways, said Paul Schumann of the Olmsted Historical Society.
“We’re looking at going in a circle through different neighborhoods and areas of the city,” Schumann said. “We won’t hit every street in those areas, but we’ll go through some different parts of the city to let people have some fun while they’re out with the barbecue. We won’t be throwing candy or anything else from the truck or cars, but people should enjoy it.”
Areas parade organizers plan to go through include the Bretton Ridge, Park Ridge and Timber Trails developments and Timber Trails, Burns and Charles roads. They anticipate it taking about three-and-a-half hours. Schumann said.
A motorized couch that Schumann has taken in North Olmsted Community Council Homecoming parades will not be part of this event.
“I don’t think it could keep up with the cars and trucks in the parade,” he said. “These guys do a great job of getting all the engines going.”
Organizers thought it would be good to have a fun July 4 activity outside people’s homes, he said.
“There aren’t any fireworks or other big activities going on this year, so we wanted to do something which people could watch from their homes and still observe the social-distancing guidelines,” Schumann said.”
Safety-service Director Don Glauner approved the parade. He said the route must be finalized so city staff can make sure it is safe and that social-distancing guidelines are followed.
Baker, a North Olmsted resident and retired Cleveland Fire Department captain, said he’s looking forward to showing off the restoration work.
“The engine is working well now,” said Baker, who worked on it along with members of the Lagrange Engine Club, some of whom will drive other cars in the parade.
Baker’s son Christopher, a mechanic who helped work on the fire truck, will be driving the truck, which has a six-cylinder engine and could pump up to 750 gallons a minute. When it was in service it could carry four firefighters. The elder Baker will be driving his own 1941 Chevrolet pickup truck.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Baker said. “Driving old vehicles like that. It can bring back a lot of memories for different people. People enjoy seeing the different vehicles as well as seeing the fire trucks and safety vehicles coming down their streets.”
People are welcome to come down to the Frostville Museum campus area to see the cars and trucks before the parade gets underway, but they will be asked to observe social-distancing guidelines, Schumann said.
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