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Pittsfield Community Television to Highlight Fourth of July
11:49AM / Thursday, July 02, 2020
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The Pittsfield parade might not be happening this year, but parade lovers can get their fix on PCTV.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television and the Pittsfield Parade Committee have teamed up to bring residents a television event to celebrate the Fourth of July in place of the traditional Fourth of July Parade, which was canceled due to COVID-19.

On Saturday, July 4, beginning at 9:30 a.m., PCTV will air a historical documentary called "Fighting for Independence: The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade." The show will look back at the history of the Pittsfield Fourth of July parade, and researchers attempt to trace the history of the parade further than ever before. 

At 10 a.m., at the time when the parade normally kicks off at South Street, PCTV will air a "The Pittsfield Parade Looks Back: Celebrating Over Three Decades Of Live Parade Television Coverage." This program will look back at some of the biggest, best, and most memorable floats, bands, grand marshals, and more, and will feature "director's cut" commentary from members of the Pittsfield Parade Committee. This program will also feature members of the community talking about what the parade means to them.

Both "Fighting for Independence" and the "The Pittsfield Parade Looks Back" will be available for viewing on Access Pittsfield Channel 1301 in Pittsfield, on the Pittsfield Community Television Facebook page, and PCTV Select, available on Roku, Apple TV and at PittsfieldTV.org.  These programs will also be broadcast county-wide on NBCTC, WilliNet, Dalton Community TV, Lanesborough Cable Access, and CTSB-TV.  They will also be available on-demand at PittsfieldTV.org and on PCTV Select.

"The Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade is really part of our DNA here at PCTV," said Shawn Serre, the station's executive director. "Our very first production as an organization was covering the parade in 1988. We've been through extreme heat and soaking rain-producing this event over three decades, without fail. And on a personal level, I’ve directed the TV coverage now for over 20 years. So we weren't going to be sidelined this year, without some way to recognize what it means to the community."

Serre also noted how the close relationship with the Pittsfield Parade Committee made the programming possible.

"We are very fortunate to have this partnership with the Pittsfield Parade Committee. They are a great group of people who give so much of themselves every year to give the community a wonderful event," he said. "This collaboration was very different for both of our organizations, given the circumstances this year.  The Parade Committee contributed their years of experience, and we contributed the production and technical expertise. I think we've created something very special that viewers will enjoy watching."

Peter Marchetti, president of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade Committee, agreed with Serre.

"The collaboration that has been developed over the years has been crucial, and even in difficult times we have been able to take a bad situation and turn it into a positive," he said.

Marchetti said he "understands the disappointment in the community that we must forgo the parade this year" but stresses that “planning for 2021 has begun, and we will be excited to return to downtown Pittsfield with all the happy times and solemn moments that the parade means to all."

In addition to the special new programming, PCTV also plans to re-broadcast previous years' parades in their entirety beginning Wednesday, July 1, and continuing through early morning on July 4. These archive broadcasts can be seen on  PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301 and PCTV Select, available on Roku and Apple TV.  

On the morning of July 4, the station will also broadcast a collection of youth performances by Barrington Stage Company and Berkshire Theatre Group, which have accompanied parade broadcasts in previous years.  That program will air at 9 a.m., and at 8:30 p.m. on July 4, PCTV will air an hour of fireworks.

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