By DANIEL SUDDEATH
The skies were gray, but there was still plenty of red, white and blue on display in downtown Jeffersonville Thursday.
Despite a constant rain that eventually led to the cancellation of musical performances slated for the RiverStage, Jeffersonville’s Independence Day parade was held as planned.
Floats covered Spring Street as children dressed in rain jackets and hooded sweatshirts waited eagerly on the sidewalks for their hands to be filled with candy.
Their parents and other adults leaned against buildings and took cover underneath storefront awnings.
“This kind of keeps us strong as a unit — helps us to stay united,” Chris Smith said of Independence Day activities as his children watched the procession roll by.
Smith and his family now live in Michigan, but they were once Jeffersonville residents. He said they came back Thursday to watch his nieces take part in the parade.
“This is one of the few days a year where we come together as a country,” he said.
It’s important to honor the veterans and take time to celebrate freedom and the history of the United States with family members, Smith continued.
The rain fell harder as the floats, marching bands and fire engines made their way to Warder Park.
Some observers waived miniature American flags or tried to get the attention of their friends who were participating in the parade.
Verna Moerer, of Jeffersonville, and her brother Clayton Moerer, of Scottsburg, don’t attend the parade every year.
With the wet weather keeping some people at home, it might have seemed like a strange day to come to watch a parade.
But Verna said they wanted to check out the progress of the Big Four Bridge ramp as well as watch the parade.
So they decided why not make a day out of it?
“It’s really nice. I was glad to see some [floats] from Louisville over here,” she said, referencing some of the organizations from Kentucky that took part in the Jeffersonville parade.
Clayton said July 4 is a day of pride and respect, a time to recognize how blessed U.S. residents are.
“We live in the greatest country on the face of the earth,” he said.