Westchester Avenue was lively Monday afternoon, as crowds lined the street to watch Port Chester's annual Memorial Day parade. Hundreds of residents with camcorders and digital cameras in hand cheered as their friends, children and neighbors marched by, playing instruments, twirling batons, and waving pom- poms. "Everyone came out," said Howard Weiss, acting commander of the American Legion of Port Chester, which helped organize the commemorations. "It's a booming success." The procession, which went down Westchester Avenue, beginning at Veteran's Memorial Park and ended by the Port Chester Metro North station, lasted about 30 minutes. Marchers included students from Port Chester Middle and High schools as well as Thomas Edison, Park Avenue, JFK Magnet and King Street elementary schools. The American Legion band was also there.Isabella Aguirre, 9, of King Street School, was proud to be part of the festivities.
"I get to show off my skills in front of my family and everyone," she said, twirling her baton. The Port Chester High School Marching Band, in full regalia, had its own talents to show off. The renowned band took first in a competition at the New Meadowlands Stadium last October. "It feels good to be part of this and put on a show for all the people and children," said Benny Palmoba, 15, a baritone horn player and freshman at Port Chester High School. Parade watchers made themselves comfortable on the sidewalks, some setting up lawn chairs, others using the curb as a seat. Many spectators wore patriotic t-shirts and waved small American flags. Though the day started ominously, the rain clouds dispersed by the time parade started at noon. "We made a deal with God and the rain let up just in time," joked Weiss. Anita Charleswell was sitting in a lawn chair under a big green umbrella with her husband.
"The parade is always beautiful," she said, as she cheered on the passing students. She waved happily at a girl she knew marching with the Park Avenue school."It's a great day," said Weiss.
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