Patriotism was on full display today as central Ohio residents turned out in force at parades commemorating Independence Day.
Viewers waved U.S. flags at passing floats and whistled as marching bands went by.
Gahanna, Sunbury and Upper Arlington were among the communities with parades this morning, while Westerville, Plain City and Delaware saw their parades step off this afternoon.
In Bexley, spectators were not fazed by the light rain that started falling near the end of the parade this morning.
Children and adults grabbed at tossed candy, threw water balloons, blew bubbles and pulled the trigger on water guns as they cheered for the passing floats.
“I love how every little community group gets to be in it,” said Janie Blank, 62, who has a house on Buckeye Lake but drove to Bexley to spend the holiday with her daughter and granddaughters.
Jessica and Shawn Potts arrived in Bexley from their home in New Albany. They brought their 5-year-old son and 10-month-old twins to watch the couple’s favorite parade.
They used to live in Bexley, and “we’ve just overall always enjoyed this one,” Mr. Potts said. “It’s always a good parade.”
Corbin, their 5-year-old, always looks forward to the parade’s ending.
“He likes the big ladder truck,” Mrs. Potts said.
Skylar Breckenridge, 7, attended the Westerville parade this afternoon and said his favorite part was the candy.
His mom, Kristine, and his 1–year-old sister, Ava, were at the parade, too. The family also celebrates the holiday with sparklers and poppers at home, but Mrs. Breckenridge said the parade is the highlight of the day.
“We celebrate the whole USA,” Skylar said.
The parade kicked off with flags and firetrucks, but Delicia Jenkins was waiting for the very end, to see her daughter Ayanna and other members of the Westerville South High School cheerleading squad.
“We’ve been supporting the parade for many years, since the girls were little,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “We’re supporting the community.”
Mrs. Jenkins was with her husband, her other daughter and extended family. To her, the holiday is special because of “teaching the girls about independence and how we became a country.”
“That’s important to share with your family,” she said.