Patriot Community braves rainy weather, big turnout honors America with parade


The community of Patriot – the only community in the United States that bears such a patriotic name – came out in force last Friday afternoon for its annual July 4th parade and community picnic.

The events were held in spite of a steady rain that fell throughout the morning and afternoon; and those attending all of the festivities carried umbrellas, wore rain gear – or simply got wet and enjoyed the day.

The parade started at noon and proceeded along Main Street, with Vern Waltz serving as the emcee, announcing each parade entry to the crowd over the loudspeaker. The parade was led by members of the American Legion, VFW, and American Legion Auxiliary carrying the flags.

Next came a procession of vehicles from the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department; all of the county’s volunteer fire departments; and ambulances from Switzerland County Emergency Services. There were plenty of cars in the parade – all detailed to look their finest; and several children rode their bicycles.

There was a group of golf carts driven by local residents; and several county and regional political candidates also participated in the parade.

Dan Back pulled his “Patriot Riverboat” float along the parade route; and the members of Belle River Lodge rode in a horse-drawn wagon in the parade.

Speaking of horses, there were plenty participating in this year’s Patriot Parade, including a pony ridden by Raylinn Kappes, which was judged as the outstanding entry in this year’s parade.

Following the parade, a break in the weather provided everyone with the opportunity to move to the Patriot Memorial Park, where an impressive ceremony was held to retire the old flags hanging in the park and replace them with new flags – all of which honor the different branches of the military and different versions of the American Flag that soldiers have served under.

Mike Jones, pastor of Patriot Baptist Church, served as the emcee at the flag ceremony, and opened with prayer. Lowell Wayne Sullivan of the Vevay American Legion also spoke during the ceremonies.

Marine Chris Miller, on leave and back home in Patriot, had the honor of carrying the new American Flag to the center flagpole in the park, and it was raised as soldiers and veterans saluted and other residents placed their hand over their heart.

Each of the flags in the park was brought down prior to the main American Flag being brought down, and after the new American Flag was hoisted, members of the Patriot community and veterans of military service participated in raising the new flags around the park.

As the new flags were raised, 200 red, white, and blue balloons were released into the skies – all carrying information about the Patriot celebration.

Event organizers report that one was found in a hay field on July 4th in Walton, Kentucky; one was found later that same day in Verona, Kentucky; and one was found and reported on Saturday, July 5th in Madison, New Jersey.

On Monday, July 7th, Patriot officials received a call from a man in Province Town, Massachusetts in the Cape Cod area.

He had found one of the Patriot balloons, but was apparently very upset that the balloon had “littered” his beach.

Following the moving flag ceremony, a large crowd moved over to the Patriot Park, where a community pitch-in dinner was held and games were played. The Patriot Town Council provided the meat for the event; and everyone had a wonderful time celebrating the birthday of this country; and their unity as members of the Patriot community.