Patriot celebrates 4th of July with parade, day filled with food, fun, activities

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In the only town in America that bears the name “Patriot”, the Switzerland County community turned out in force on Sunday to show their patriotism and celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

This year’s parade saw a large number of entries, ranging from kids on bicycles to political candidates to a motorcycle patrol from the Murat Shrine in Indianapolis. Residents and other visitors lined Main Street to watch all of the activities and floats; and weren’t disappointed.

Vern Waltz served as the emcee for the event, working alongside parade coordinator Kay Cook and all of the other volunteers to made the day possible.

A color guard from the county’s American Legion and VFW posts led the parade; and the color guard was followed by this year’s Grand Marshals, Russell Fitzgerald and Jean Rose. Firetrucks and emergency vehicles from the Patriot Volunteer Fire Department and the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department were on hand; and were joined by trucks from other Switzerland County departments.

The color guard from the Rising Sun American Legion post was also featured in the parade.

A traditional entry in the Patriot Parade are the floats featuring the members of the “Loyal Order of the Rednecks”, and this year they didn’t disappoint, with the members waving to the crowd. Classic cars also brought applause from the assembled crowd; and the local Brownie and Girl Scout troops did their patriotic part by riding decorated bicycles and scooters along the route.

“Kuba the Clown” also entertained everyone along the parade route with his antics; followed by a large contingent of motorcycles and a semi truck all adorned in Red, White, and Blue, with “United We Stand” emblazoned across the grill.

Bill Wiseman of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary was a part of the parade, and he was followed by Patriot historian Danny Back, who pulled his “Patriot Paddleboat”, which also contained his grandchildren. Belle River Lodge #327 made the parade with its horse-drawn wagon; and other horses were also a part of the parade.

Dignitaries on hand for this year’s parade included State Senator Jim Lewis and State Representative Bob Bischoff; and the parade also featured many floats and appearances by candidates running for state and county offices in the upcoming November election.

Following the parade, everyone moved to the Patriot Memorial Park, where the traditional changing of the flags program took place.

The Vevay Music Club entertained the audience with selections that included the hymns of each branch of the military; and Mike Jones, pastor of Patriot Baptist Church and President of the Switzerland County Council, told the audience that there was no better place in the world to celebrate our nation’s independence day than in Patriot.

Veterans in attendance were asked to help with the changing of the flags; and as the American Flag was changed in the center of the park; red, white, and blue balloons were released by Cindy Kerr and Horst Jahn to the applause of everyone.

Following the activities at the park, everyone headed to Harris Park for a community picnic; and that was followed by the town’s “Music in the Park” event, featuring Shelley Hankinson Turner, who was the winner of CMT’s “Singing Bee” television show.

Overall it was a wonderful day in the town of Patriot – a truly patriotic day in the most patriotic town in the country.