In just a matter of hours, 50 floats will fill the streets of downtown Erie, for the much anticipate Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade. But it's taken months of planning and prepping to get these floats parade ready for organizations like Therapy Dogs United.
"It gives me goose bumps to see what we've done as a group," said Bridget Buzard. "The cohesiveness of this group, there are so many egos and so many individuals, but you know what, it all fell into place."
The Scally Wag is exactly one-tenth to scale of the Niagara, complete with Therapy Dogs United's paw print and their very own Captain Perry leading the way.
What makes this even more authentic are the ropes that are own loan from the Niagara, and the help they had from someone familiar with the brig.
"One of our volunteers is Billy, the First Mate of the Niagara," said Buzard. "He said I have time the last two weeks of April to give my expertise."
Along with seeing the Scally Wag sailing down the street, you'll find St. Paul's Cathedral and get to spend an "afternoon in the Piazza."
"We were trying to be historic, but actually Italians didn't settle in Erie until after the Battle of 1812," said Judy Husted of the Italian American Heritage Society. "We thought, 'should we showcase our heritage?' and why not. We wanted to show that Italians helped build Erie just like other nationalities."
Husted said it took six different Italian heritage groups throughout Erie, coming together to create the float.
"It was everyone saying, 'I cant get this' and 'I know someone who has that.' And so all together, everyone brought something to the table."
Both Husted and Buzard say the best part of this process, is knowing they're going to be a part of history.
"When will this ever happen again? At least not in our lifetime, so this is very exciting," said Husted. "We're proud to be Erieites."
"I think what really got us excited is it is such a historic event for Erie and we will never be able to say we were a part of history again," said Buzard.
And don't forget, if you can't make it downtown for the parade, you can watch it live right here on our website.