If only for awhile, the streets of downtown West Union conjured up visions of small-town America, like something right out of a Charles Wysocki painting. Smiling children, waving flags, historical heroes, vintage vehicles, and many more slices of Americana filled the streets as the annual West Union Fourth of July parade entertained a large contingent of patriotic Americans along its route through the town’s main thoroughfare.
The grand marshals of the parade were long-time West Union residents John and Elaine Lafferty and they were joined by over 75 entries as one of West Union’s longest running traditions kicked off a full day of holiday events deemed as the “Freedom Festival” and sponsored by the West Union Lions Club and the Adams County D.A.R.E. program and presented by the law office of Tanya M. Drinnon.
“Many believe that we had one of the largest Fourth of July parades in years,” West Union Lions Club President Stephen Caraway told The Defender.
“We appreciate the support of the community and the Laffertys for serving as our Grand Marshals. The Lions Club also appreciates the village of West Union and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office for all of their assistance.”
After the parade, the focus shifted to the Adams County Fairgrounds where a full day of old-fashioned fun was planned for young and old alike. Music was provided by Honey Hush and One Over 8 and a flag retirement ceremony was performed by local scouts. All of the events of the day led up to the grand finale at the fairgrounds, which was a fireworks display that once again dazzled spectators.
“Based on admissions, it appears that we had over 2,000 people in attendance at the fairgrounds,” added Caraway. “The fireworks crew shot off over 10,000 individual fireworks and the crowd seemed very pleased. We definitely want to thank the many sponsors and everyone who attended.”
All of the proceeds from the Freedom Festival are divided between the West Union Lion’s Club, the D.A.R.E. program, and local scouting troops. The fireworks are purchased from Rozzi’s through the assistance of Freedom Festival Chairman Matthew Sheeley and the Agricultural Society rented the fairgrounds out for use all day.
According to Caraway, plans are already underway for next year’s celebration.