SOUTH NEWFANE—Two years ago, the site on the Dover Road that was the staging area for this year’s Rock River Revival parade was covered in three feet of mud and silt.
On Sunday, the yard was green and there were few signs that an epic flash flood had taken place.
But one didn’t have to go far to see the signs of the damage that Tropical Storm Irene left behind in 2011.
Just a couple hundred yards up the road from where Sunday’s parade began, a flood-damaged house sits smashed, with an outbuilding listing rightward. Weeds grow in the rocks and silt that still sit in the yard.
Across the street, the Rock River flows lazily in the middle of the wide channel that the flooding from Irene created. Downed trees bleached by two years of sun, rain, and snow still can be seen along the riverbank.
But Sunday’s parade, organized by South Newfane residents Christine Triebert and Carol Ross, was not about dwelling upon the past; it was about celebrating the present, and celebrating the spirit of the villages of Newfane.
“Together We’re Stronger” was the theme of the second annual parade. It was a lower-key event than last year’s parade, when the memories of Irene and the scars it left behind were fresher.
The three-quarter-mile parade route concluded in the center of South Newfane, with a celebration on the lawn of the former Inn at South Newfane, complete with food, music, raffles, and games.
Ross and Triebert said the event was as much a thank you to the first responders at the NewBrook and South Newfane/Williamsville volunteer fire departments as it was a fundraiser for them.