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Groups of lawn chairs and cars dotted Owasco Road Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the fire trucks, vintage vehicles and community groups to take part in the town of Owasco's annual Fourth of July parade.

At the Owasco firehouse, parade-goers formed a line for barbecue chicken that stretched out of the building. Kids lined up at the outside tent, where the Boy Scout's Troop 21 sold snow cones. The Owasco Fire Department's truck bay also held a raffle with a combined $10,000 in prizes.

Brian Jessie, a volunteer member of the department since 2003 and a third-generation firefighter, said he has helped with the department's holiday celebration since he was a kid. 

"People have been here getting their chicken since 10:30 this morning. Sales have been really good," Jessie said. 

Those familiar with the Owasco's annual celebration might've noticed the parade time was moved up an hour and that the traditional field day wasn't part of the festivities this year. The department decided to drop that part of the program due to the logistical challenges they have faced in recent years.

"The department used to do a huge Field Day with a band and kids' rides and activities, but it's very tough to find not only volunteers, but businesses that will come in and set up for a single day for rides," Jessie said.

But that didn't stop families from coming out in the Fourth of July heat. By 1 p.m., kids were in position with their families along the side of the road, waiting to catch pieces of candy tossed out by the passing parade.

About a dozen fire departments, including Skaneateles, Aurelius and Elbridge, had trucks on display. Several tractors also came through, including one that pulled some children with water guns. The Calamari Sisters also rode in a convertible ahead of their upcoming shows at the Auburn Public Theater.

Members of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Broom, a performance group based in Auburn, also did a choreographed dance — complete with witches' hats and broom sticks.

Jessica Golden, of Weedsport, came to watch the parade like she has for the last five years with her daughters, 9-year-old Nadia and 14-year-old Alanna.

"It's really nice for them to do this on the Fourth of July. It gives the girls something to do and they enjoy the parade. So it's a nice thing for Auburn to have," Golden said.

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Staff writer Mary Catalfamo can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or mary.catalfamo@lee.net. Find her on Twitter @mrycatalfamo.

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