June 2, 1996
CATO — The 175th Anniversary Celebration of the Four Towns got off to a smooth start. The only hitches were on the horses.
The opening parade theme, "Scenes from Yesteryear," included about 60 floats depicting the slightly serious — churches, schools and such — to the humorous — an outhouse, paddy wagons and firemen dressed up in their longjohns.
A number of residents enjoyed the parade in lawn chairs under the shade of stately oaks and maples lining Route 34.
Even the parade's tail end caused a few snickers and guffahs as Cato Boy Scout Troop 50, community service role models, took out their shovels from a wagon labeled, "This Ain't Hay!" and scooped up the horse droppings left along the way.
What would a countryside parade be without animals? Among the assortment were miniature ponies, goats, a rooster, mules, and Percheron draft horses.
Co-chairwomen of the event, CIViC (Cato, Ira, Victory and Conquest) Heritage Society members Peg Sweetman and Dorothy Southard, said that approximately 15 antique cars and 17 horse units participated in the parade; eight churches were represented as well.
The group spent more than a year putting the project together from its inception.
"It's quite a community effort," Southard said. "And it was just a perfect day."
— Compiled by David Wilcox