In the same way that Christmas decorations in the stores herald the coming of the holiday season, the chairs that line Canonsburg’s Pike Street in late June are a sure sign the Fourth of July parade is on the way.
And, like all the evergreen and red bows decorating the malls, the chairs are cropping up earlier and earlier and earlier. This year, the first ones appeared June 22. If the trend continues unabated, who knows, it’s not out of the question they could start showing up on Memorial Day weekend. Or Easter. Why not Jan. 1?
Other eager parade-watchers tried to nail down their spots with chains or yellow crime-scene tape, making Canonsburg resemble something out of “CSI.”
After correctly deciding that the profusion of chairs, and the length of time they lingered on the boulevard, were a hazard to pedestrians, drivers and business owners, Canonsburg Borough Council decided to impose a strict limit on when they could come out – only after 6 a.m. on July 4. But opponents argued, with some justification, that allowing chairs to be placed on the street just a few hours before the start of the parade was an invitation to sharp-elbowed, frenzied chaos.
On Monday night, Borough Council will likely approve a measure allowing the chairs to appear 48 hours before the parade. This is a sensible compromise. It allows one of Canonsburg’s most noteworthy traditions, while, at the same time, keeping it within a reasonable limit.