Many cultures throughout the ages have festivities that mark the passage of Winter into Spring and Modern Trojans are no different. Second only to the Flag Day Parade, the Annual Marching of the Children from Lansingburgh to Downtown Troy has become one of the city’s most honored traditions. The event typically occurs the first warm weather weekend of the new year and involves the gathering and subsequent parade of teens and pre-teens througout the city to symbolize seasonal renewal. As the children (symbolizing the city of Troy) march from Lansingburgh (Winter) into Downtown (Spring) and onto buses that will take them back to Albany (the hell of Summer on the hottest, most disgusting humid day), the ritual ensures that the sun we have not seen in 5 months will re-appear and that there will not be a shortage of Spring and Summer Seasonal Ales at our local drinking establishments. The reopening of Brown’s deck usually occurs shortly thereafter.
The precursor to his year’s festivities started at Germania Hall in Lansingburgh after a birthday party. As per tradition, young men and women from Albany and Troy squared off in a peacocking ritual designed to solidify their standing in their social group. The appearance of Troy PD signifies the start of the March as the kids are led, parade style, through North Troy towards Downtown, much to the delight of residents who are able to view the event from the convenience of their front windows. While primarily a youth festival, should adults wish to participate, they can do so by waiving crowbars in the street, a move which recognizes the city’s industrial background in shaping it’s growth towards the economic powerhouse it is today.
Having missed the event several times in the past due to my friends’ inability to schedule a wedding at a normal time, I was overjoyed this past Saturday when I stumbled upon the tail end of the March of the Children at the Uncle Sam bus stop. Walking back from gorging myself on poblano soup and cornbread at Dinosaur, the festive flashing lights of multiple Troy PD, State Trooper, and RensCo Sheriff cars was a delight. It truly must have been an honor for the CDTA driver of the 22 bus to cart those 40 drunk 12 year olds across the river to their final destination. I wonder if the other bus drivers get jealous?
Moving further down Third St, a second, smaller group of kids was being escorted through downtown by THA (everyone with a flashing light afixed to the top of their car was invited to be part of the ceremonies this year. I thought the yellow light was a nice addition.) toward the Third and Congress bus stop. The festivities continued on Broadway as even more Troy cops, Staties, and Rensco sheriffs lined the streets. Franklin Alley was the scene of the traditional “Corralling of the Children” whereby the rowdiest of the group are placed facedown, handcuffed, and get to take a special ride in the back of a Troy PD car. The theme of this year’s Corral was “Home on The Range: A Tribute to the BLM and America’s Wild Horses“. A big thank you to the State Trooper on Broadway who responded to my enquiries as to what was happening in town that necessitated 20 different law enforcement vehicles, multiple K-9 Units, and back up from the sheriffs, the troopers, and THA with “Watch the news. We can’t tell you anything.” My bad… I should have just googled it.
All in all, I think this year’s March of the Children was the best yet. The cops kept the kids under control from what I saw and we were gifted with the second-most hilarious article the Troy Record has produced this year (the first being this).
I love this town.