Crowds turn out despite threat of rain –
Story and photos by Patricia Beech –
While the weather put a damper on many July 4th celebrations, on Monday the annual Independence Day Parade in West Union got an unexpected reprieve as the rain let up only minutes before the event was set to begin.
“Even though Mother Nature didn’t cooperate the entire weekend, we were so very fortunate the rain held off during the parade,” said emcee Stephen Caraway of the West Union Lions Club, sponsors of the yearly event.
Umbrellas remained closed and tucked away as the Girl and Boy Scout Color Guard led the procession down Main Street past the flag-draped courthouse.
Wearing patriotic top hats, Grand Marshals Mike and Paulette Roberts followed behind, opting to walk the parade route.
“They didn’t want to risk an open convertible in the rain, so they asked us to ride in a van with open doors, but I suggested that we walk and the van follow behind us,” said Mr. Roberts. “I thought it was a nice way to do it because there were so many people who came to watch the parade, in spite of the rainy weather.”
The Roberts’ reside in the Unity area and are active in the Adams County Arts Council and theater company.
“We felt very honored to be selected as Grand Marshals,” said Roberts. “It was a thrill for us.”
Caraway halted the procession in front of the courthouse, and the crowds lining the street stood hand-to-heart as the Adams County Liberty Band played The Star Spangled Banner.
The fanfare continued as local Scout troops marched past the spectators followed by the 2015 Adams County Junior Fair Queen Karlie Harper. The crowd cheered as red, white, and blue patriotic floats rolled down Main Street and British Redcoats on horseback waving the Union Jack followed behind. Vintage cars, tractors, public servants, and fire engines with sirens blaring brought up the rear.
A picnic and a concert by the Liberty Band were held at the West Union Methodist Church following the parade.
“It was fantastic to see so many wonderful friends and neighbors, coming together and celebrating something that all of us love – America,” said Caraway. “On behalf of the Lions Club, thanks to everyone that participated and a special thanks to Mike and Paulette Roberts, our Grand Marshals for taking part.”