Labor Day wraps up in LeRaysville: Parade, Civil War re-enactment part of the festivities
With green antennae and blue, bloodshot eyes, a gigantic ladybug scurried back and forth on Main Street Monday in LeRaysville.
Of course, it wasn't a real insect - anyone could see that.
Rather, it was a motorized parade vehicle that was fashioned to look like an oversized version of the familiar red and black polka-dot garden visitor.
It made its way down the street, along with the floats, vehicles and marchers in the Labor Day Parade, part of the LeRaysville-Pike Volunteer Fire Company's 67th Annual Labor Day celebration.
All along the street, people staked out their chairs, ahead of time for the 10:30 a.m. parade.
Kristy Grochocki sat in her chair, holding her baby, Rose. Her husband, Brian, and son, Nathan, 9, also attended.
Nathan liked the candy that was thrown out to parade-goers. He also liked the trucks in the parade.
"The trucks are cool," he said.
"It's an outing," said Kristy. "Everyone gets lined up."
Jen Neuber thought the weather, though hot, was a lot better than last year. This year, she said, it was "so much more enjoyable."
This year, the parade also had a bit of a Civil War flavor.
Re-enactors with "The Northeast Brigade - 141st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers and 4th U.S. Light Artillery" marched.
A cloud of gray gun smoke rose above their heads after they fired their weapons.
Afterwards, on the event grounds, the re-enactors retired to their camp, which had been set up near the building where the Chinese auction took place.
White tents, a campfire, and people in period dress helped create the feel of the War Between the States.
One of the re-enactors, First Lt. Kurt Lafy, said the re-enactors were invited to the event.
"This is a lot of fun," he said.
Dr. Gayle Burkett took part in the re-enactment, playing the role of the regimental surgeon with the 141st.
She said doctors in the Civil War spent most of their time on amputations, but she said it's a myth that anesthesia didn't exist back then. She said ether and chloroform were used. "Very few" amputations were done without anesthesia, she said.
Doctors also spent their time on sick call, due to the fact that disease was common as a result of the "deplorable" sanitation of the camps, she said.
She said that one-half of a regiment could be lost before battle, due to diseases like dysentery, malaria, and typhoid.
Eventually, she noted, the Sanitation Commission stepped in to improve things.
According to the history.com website, the commission "sent inspectors to military camps to oversee the set up of clean water supplies, latrines, and cooking facilities," among other things.
Jim Alderson, president of the fire company, appeared happy with the three-day Labor Day event, which wrapped up Monday. It's the fire department's big fundraiser.
Despite some rain that occurred on Saturday and some rain drops Monday, he said, "we're going to have a good weekend." He said the Chinese auction had the most-ever donations.
He gave a "special thanks" to those working the booths and the ladies auxiliary, as well as the Flanagan family, which takes care of the Chinese auction.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.