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
“I want to eat the
candy!” she said, decked out in her red, white, and blue
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
“She’s a gymnast and a
cheerleader and I’m very proud of her. She just loves
it!” Westfall said.