Porter County Sheriff's Office


Life Saver Honored

Portage parade brings out thousands

July 04, 2014 Heather Augustyn Times Correspondent

Sydney Morris, 7, of Valparaiso, sat on a blanket with her mother, Maria Lance Morris and friends, waiting for the start of the annual Fourth of July parade along Willowcreek in Portage.

“I want to eat the candy!” she said, decked out in her red, white, and blue sundress.

Sydney was one of thousands who lined Central Avenue and Willowcreek Road on Friday morning as the parade slowly inched along the parade route, at one point stopping altogether when a monster truck broke down and appeared later in the procession pulled by a large tow truck.

Parade celebrants wore giant plush Uncle Sam hats, headbands with bobbing tinseled red white and blue antennas, and T-shirts with every combination of stars and stripes.

The Exchange Club of Portage handed out 3,600 flags along the parade route as one of 77 entries in the parade.

The Portage High School Marching Indians band performed “God Bless America” before the Indianettes dance team shook their hips to Katy Perry’s popular song “Firework” and the cheer team dazzled with back flips.

Mariah Blackwell, the Portage class of 2015 Distinguished Young Woman, waved to participants, as did Jackie Husband, honored senior represented by the Portage Township Bonner Senior Center who also sponsored a float of senior singers.

Porter County Sheriff David Lain threw handfuls of candy into the crowd as he smiled and waved to the festive crowd.

“You close your eyes and envision America and then open your eyes and this is it!” Lain said before walking off to warmly embrace other participants with his presence.

Members of Indiana Elite Gymnasts twirled on parallel bars affixed to a semi-truck bed as others flipped in the air in their electric blue leotards.

“She’s excellent!” said a supportive Sue Westfall, of Lake Station, grandmother to Aleela Hill, 7, also of Lake Station and a member of the gymnast squad.

“She’s a gymnast and a cheerleader and I’m very proud of her. She just loves it!” Westfall said.

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