By Elizabeth Perry
McKees Rocks held its second annual April Fools’ Parade April 1. Dubbed the shortest parade in history, participants wore costumes and walked along Chartiers Avenue from Black Forge Coffee to the empty lot beside the Roxian Theatre accompanied by two fire engines with sirens blaring.
Mayor David Flick emceed the crowning of the new King of Fools while wearing a hand-made Mayor McCheese outfit. Those who helped to organize the parade, were dressed like fairies, butterflies, hippies and clowns. Organizers included members of the following McKees Rocks groups: Women’s Alliance, Historical Society, Event Committee and Community Development Corp. Ambassadors.
“I love you all,” Flick said at the conclusion of his speech.
Dorothy Bennett, a member of the McKees Rocks Event Committee, who's worked in the Sto-Rox community as a crossing guard for 48 years, was named the King of Fools, succeeding Nancy Rees. Bennett seemed shocked by the honor and the round of applause from the crowd.
Some cities have more cynical celebrations to honor the day of foolishness, but in McKees Rocks they serve up their silliness with a lot of sweetness.
Unlike New York City's April Fools’ Day parade, which has anarchic roots and more often than not is an excuse to prank media outlets into covering an event that isn't there, the McKees Rocks event is a whimsical, child-centric celebration.
Kids enjoyed an Easter egg hunt put on by the local Gemini Theater group. Senior President of the National Art Honor Society at Baldwin High School, Katy Spanos, painted the faces of young revelers and representatives from Focus on Renewal gave out small toys – all for free.
The Easter Bunny danced for the crowd. TT’s Toy Box Daycare Center set up a booth, as did Animal Friends and the Sto-Rox Mobile Health Unit. BlackTea BrownSugar Network provided the music for the event. Body Butter by Beauty was on hand selling lotions and soaps.