Patriot Parade sees large number of entries; plenty of fun for everyone

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With a chance of rain hanging over the event and a few sprinkles scattered during the final ceremonies – nothing dampened the spirits of the members of the Patriot community as they hosted the annual Fourth of July parade last Saturday.

Patriot is the only town in the entire U.S. with the name “Patriot”, so it is only fitting that such a patriotic town celebrate on such a patriotic day.

A large number of entries graced this year’s parade lineup, which began at the boat ramp and traveled along Main Street to the main intersection of town.

This year’s parade was led by co-Grand Marshals Dorothy Burley and Eugene Smith. Both were hailed for their commitment and service not only to the Patriot community; but also to their country. Vern Waltz served as the emcee for the parade, announcing each of the float entries to a large gathering of people.

The Color Guard from the American Legion and VFW led the parade; and there were plenty of firetrucks and emergency vehicles with sirens blaring and lights flashing to delight all viewers – young and old.

The local Masonic Lodge was represented; as were two chapters of the “Loyal Order of Rednecks”. Danny Back showed off his “Patriot Riverboat” float; and all sorts of four-wheelers, golf carts, and ATV’s filled the parade route. State Representative Bob Bischoff was a part of the parade; and the entire town was decked out in Red, White, and Blue in honor of the occasion.

Following the conclusion of the parade, everyone gathered at the Memorial Park for the traditional changing of the flags.

One of the most poignant and solemn parts of the day, all of the flags that fly over the park – which represent the different branches of the military as well as flags that have represented the U.S. over the years – are brought down from their poles, and new flags are then raised in celebration.

This year, as each flag representing a different branch of the military was raised, the official song of that branch was also played over the loudspeakers.

Also taking part in this year’s flag ceremony were members of the Christian Motorcycle Association; and members assisted with the exchanging of the flags.

With the new flags proudly flying and dozens of red, white, and blue balloons rising into the air; it was time for everyone to the Guy Harris Park, where a community picnic was held and enjoyed by everyone.