Wednesday continued the tradition of local families getting together, generation after generation, to celebrate the holiday and appreciate the freedom afforded by the United States.
Andrea and Chris Acierto, of Milan, brought daughters Madison and Bryleigh to the parade to continue a family tradition Andrea has had since she was young.
“It’s a good parade and it’s nice for the kids,” Andrea said. “We come every year. We’ve been sitting in this spot since I was like 6. It’s just been a tradition.”
She said the family enjoyed the floats, performances, vehicles on display and other parade entrants despite the scorching heat that had many sweating before the guns fired and the first float rolled through.
“The Popsicles help,” she said, referring to the ice pops her daughters received from one of the floats. The temperature reached at least 90 Wednesday, but heat index values made it feel as if it were nearly 100. Six-year-old Bryleigh Acierto didn’t mind the heat as she ran around grabbing pieces of candy and other goodies thrown out to the children.
“Got a lot of candy,” she said, adding her favorite floats from the parade were “the princess ones.”
Tammy Brant, of Norwalk, said her family has kept the tradition of going to the parade for 40 years now — almost as long as the local Lions Club has been in charge of the festivities.
“My dad’s been sitting here since 1978. This is our whole family over here,” she said of the large group of people that spread the whole stretch of the Whittlesey Avenue and Main Street intersection sidewalk in front of the courthouse.
“I set this stuff (blankets and chairs) out here at 6:30 this morning so we could get a good spot and because this is where my family has always been.”
Brant said she continues to bring her family because the parade is “great for the family” and said the event is dear to heart with the memories that have been made over the years.
“Norwalk’s our family home,” she said. “Even my sister usually comes up every year from Tennessee just for this. We were all born and raised here. We love it — just the tradition of the kids getting candy and you get to see all the Norwalk locals. You always know who’s from Norwalk because of this big parade.”