For many, 4th of July parade is summer ritual
By Office of Communication
Posted on July 08, 2013, July 08, 2013

John Marsh lounged in the shade with a red, white and blue ball cap perched on his head, just as the July 4 parade descended down Abram Street.

Nearby, Marsh' s 7-year-old son, Jason, waved a small American flag.

" We are lucky to live in America," Marsh said. " Just look around. This is a great country."

Marsh and his son were among the thousands who lined the streets of the two-mile route through downtown Arlington on Thursday morning for the 4th of July parade. Many waved American flags and tried to keep cool with paper fans while cheering for decorated floats, classic cars and even Elvis impersonators on motorcycles.

The theme of this year' s parade was " Emblems of the Land I Love," and 135 entries included high school marching bands, equestrian units, clowns, veterans groups and local businesses. Dignitaries included Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis and U.S. Rep. Joe Barton.

Some participants dressed in old revolutionary garb, and many floats adopted the same look.

This was the 48th year for the parade, which is organized by the nonprofit organization Arlington 4th of July Association.

For many, the parade has become an annual ritual and highlight of the long, hot summer.

Darcy Brock recalled attending the parade as a young girl with her parents and brother. Now, she brings her own two children and their friends, and they stake out a front-row spot, usually on West Street.

" To me, this parade is summer," Brock said. " I love the floats and the bands. You really feel like you' re part of the community."

Nearby, James Connor and his wife, Anne, sat on a red, white and blue blanket as the parade marched by them. They said they especially loved the Elvis impersonators on motorcycles and veterans groups.

This was the first time the Connors, who moved to Texas only a couple years ago, attended the parade. It will likely not be the last.

" We' re thinking this might be a new family tradition," Anne Connor said.

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