Angela Pearson watched with three of her children Sunday as their neighborhood's Independence Day tradition returned a year after the coronavirus pandemic kept decorated bicycles, strollers and wagons from parading down Old Mill Road.
“They would much rather be walking, but we have ice water and Cracker Jacks,” the mother of seven said, noting a recent illness kept the children from joining their siblings in the parade.
The Woodhurst event attracted dozens of participants, some with pets, and a smattering of spectators along Old Mill Road.
With the heat index climbing toward 90 degrees, some spectators sought shady spots. Participants later cooled off with red, white and blue Popsicles and got a $5 gift certificate to Zesto from Ellen Bero, treasurer for the Woodhurst Community Association.
“I think everybody enjoys it and has a great time,” Bero said.
The neighborhood association encouraged participants to decorate their bicycles and strollers – a suggestion many welcomed. Patriotic streamers, balloons and bunting were common, and some people and pets wore Uncle Sam hats.
The start time was pushed to noon to avoid conflicts with morning church or worship services.
A pair of vehicles – a Corvette and a Volkswagen Beetle, both convertibles – bookended the pedestrian and nonmotorized wheeled participants.
Vince Frecker waited for his children, 3-year-old Teddy and 1-year-old Maggie, to pass by in their “decked out” wagon pulled by his wife, Kaitlin Frecker. The children's grandmother Beth Krudop also participated.
Elizabeth Seewald, a resident along the parade route, waited for the spectacle to begin with her sister-in-law Fonda Seewald. Elizabeth Seewald's husband, daughter, son-in-law and 11-year-old grandson were participating.
“They all ride bikes,” the Old Mill Road resident said.
Dan Boylan, who walked in the parade, said his 88-year-old mother, Nancy, especially enjoys the tradition, which began in 2002. She likes the event's innocence and ability to showcase the neighborhood, he said.
“She wouldn't miss it for the world,” Boylan said, speaking for her because he couldn't immediately find her in the crowd afterward.