The threat of rain became a reality on Monday afternoon, but the town of Patriot – the only incorporated town in the country with that patriotic name – still came out to celebrate the 4th of July with its annual parade, flag ceremony, and community picnic.
The rain was reduced to an annoying drizzle as the parade stated, giving everyone the chance to line the streets and cheer on all of the entrants. Parade emcee Joey Rider kept everyone entertained and informed, announcing each of the entries as they rolled through the main intersection of town.
Leading this year’s parade was the color guard from the Vevay American Legion Post #185 and Vevay VFW Post #5396; and following the veterans were Grand Marshals Bruce and Jill Hutcherson, foundational members of the Patriot community.
They were followed by a large contingent of a variety of participants, from election year politicians to a float from Patriot Baptist Church to a float featuring the Posey Pioneers 4-H club.
There were also plenty of folks on four-wheelers and bicycles; and towards the end of the parade were horses – which also featured some patriotic paint supplied by their riders.
Switzerland County Sheriff Nathan Hughes was a part of the parade; as were firetrucks from the Patriot and Posey Township Volunteer Fire Departments.
At the conclusion of the parade, everyone made their way to the Patriot Memorial Park for the annual ceremony that changes out all of the flags that fly at the park.
Every flag that has ever flown over this country is represented, as well as the flags of the different branches of the military and the Indiana State Flag.
Each year those flags are brought down and retired, with brand new flags being raised with honor.
Mike Jones, pastor of Patriot Baptist Church, served as the emcee of the park ceremony, and he also officially presented the Hutchersons with a plaque of appreciation for their years of service to the community. Veteran Chris Oatman led the crowd in the Pledge to the Flag; and eight year old Emily Oatman thrilled the crowd by playing and singing ‘Amazing Grace’ on her guitar. Jones then led everyone in prayer before the crowd headed over to Harris Park for an afternoon of good food and fellowship.