|Fall Foliage Parade Will Celebrate 'Wizard of Oz'|
|04:45PM / Thursday, April 18, 2019|
|Last year's parade was for the dogs; this year's is for lions and tigers and bears, oh my!|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — This year's Fall Foliage Festival parade will kick its ruby slippers together to declare "There's No Place Like Home in The Berkshires."
The 64th annual parade, sponsored by 1Berkshire, will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the cinematic classic "The Wizard of Oz."
"The Wizard of Oz" starring Judy Garland premiered Aug. 25, 1939, and was nominated for six Oscars at the 1940 Academy Awards including best picture and won for original score and original song "Over the Rainbow."
The film was a hit in North Adams as well, playing a limited four-day engagement with "hold-out crowds" at the long-gone Paramount Theater. (The Mohawk Theater was at capacity for the showing of "Golden Boy" starring heartthrob William Holden in his first film.) The film wouldn't return to the city until November.
The Paramount even hosted Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's promotional van for the movie. In early September, the van arrived with a decorated carriage pulled by two black ponies named Wizard and Oz. They paraded down Main Street to Noel Field. Four lucky children got to participate in costume — Shirley Davis rode in the carriage and William Harrington, Lawrence Roy and Robert Lilly marched beside it. Hundreds of children and adults were at Noel Field to watch the ponies do tricks, according to the North Adams Transcript.
The parade committee is inviting the entire Berkshire community to start brainstorming ways to participate in this year's parade. There are a variety of ways to get involved including but not limited to signing up to have a float, entering a band/music unit, marching unit, veterans unit, or public safety unit or volunteering on the parade committee. Lastly, there are a variety of parade sponsorship opportunities.
The 64th annual Fall Foliage Festival Parade steps off from the parking lot at Ocean State Job Lot and marches north through downtown North Adams on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m.