RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — In the quiet village of Ridgewood, where things usually are nice and tidy, there’s just one thing every year that stands out: chairs up and down the streets, tied down, folded up, lining the sidewalks, ready to go for the popular Fourth of July parade.
It’s a mad dash to get the perfect spot. Some die-hard paradegoers mark their territory more than a week before the big day.
“My grandchildren said yesterday we better hurry up and get our chairs out,” Jean O’Connor told CBS2’s Reena Roy.
“We have to our special spot,” O’Connor continued. “You know, we can’t just sit anywhere.”
It’s a strict rule people learn at a very young age.
“I had my first parade when I was 3 months old and sat on my grandma’s lap,” said Mira O’Connor. “We’ve been in that spot in the parade for as long as I can remember.”
With an age-old tradition comes trust. Some people have just left their chairs out with nothing tying them down. For the most part, they stay right where they are.
“People are pretty cordial about it,” said police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke.
“People respect the tradition,” said O’Connor.
But when push comes to shove, things can get competitive.
“We have had issues every now and then of chairs being stolen and people sitting in other people’s chairs,” Luthcke said.
In the end though, “every year it’s as much as fun as the year before,” Mira added.
“We’ve lived here for 32 years, and I don’t think we’ve ever missed a Fourth of July parade,” O’Connor said.
And this year will be no different for the many expected to attend the 107th annual parade.