LEWISBURG — The Union County Veterans July 4 Parade was considered a success in many ways.
Nine different community groups participated in the floats this year, including veterans groups and Valley businesses.
The Union County Democratic and Republican committees were both present, as well as the Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village, Kingdom Kids and the Community Education Project, for example.
Parade chairman Terry Burke said it’s good to remember how much Lewisburg and surrounding communities appreciate veterans.
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Milton received the Thomas Reimensnyder Award for Most Patriotic Float.
St. Paul’s received a trophy made by SUN Tech students and a $250 prize, according to Burke.
Kelly Kazivwe, Reimensyder’s granddaughter, was on the float. It was her first time in the parade.
“Even though it was so hot, it was nice to see such happy and cheerful people,” Kazivwe said.
She said being in the parade and seeing the joy on people’s faces was different compared to the past two years of pandemic life.
“It was really cool,” she said. His grandfather was a longtime member of the parade committee.
She recalled memories of her late grandfather, a veteran of the Korean conflict, who died aged 89. She said her grandfather was very patriotic.
“It was a big surprise for us,” Kazivwe said. “He was such a big part of the parade.”
Kazivwe didn’t know there was a trophy at stake. She said her grandfather would have loved the trophy made from SUN Tech.
The first parade in two years, Kazivwe said people seemed happy. She said the temperature didn’t matter.
“The glow of normalcy again, it was glamorous,” Kazivwe said. “Getting him back, it was nice to see things seem to be normal again. It was so nice to see joy. Everyone seemed so happy. It was exciting.”
Kazivwe’s husband, David, is from Africa. He is now an American citizen.
David said his perspective of the show was amazing.
“In Uganda, a celebration of this magnitude would be something the president would attend,” Kazivwe said.
Lewisburg’s Kris Shunk said it was nice to see people come out after no parade in two years.
“Organizations and groups have all done a great job,” Shunk said. “A great day to walk around town and then check out the shops and new playground equipment.”
Burke said there were slightly fewer floaters this time around than in previous years.
“Things happen,” Burke said. He said he was happy that community groups participated. “It’s just an awesome feeling.”
Burke was happy to see people having a good time celebrating community and patriotism.
“The fireworks really set the tone for the weekend,” Burke said, referring to the fireworks and rally Friday night as part of the county’s 4th of July Veterans’ Day celebration. Union. “Wise Markets and USA Life Insurance have taken a big step forward.”
Burke said the crowd may have had a “COVID hangover. Everyone was so excited to be back after two years.
William Cameron Fire House hung a large American flag over downtown, according to Lewisburg Mayor Kendy Alvarez. “You could see it for sure.”
Alvarez was a parade judge. It was his first parade as mayor.
“It set the bar pretty high. The turnout was phenomenal,” Alvarez said. She said there were blocks of people and the age range was varied.
“It was really good to see,” she said. She said it is refreshing to see that people can come together despite political differences.
“It gives me hope. I choose hope,” Alvarez added. She said sometimes things like parades are a good distraction for society.
The American flag provided by William Cameron above Fifth Street is what appealed to him and others.
“I was touched by the patriotic tribute paid to our veterans. The eloquently draped flag on Market Street took my breath away,” said Denny Hummer of Lewisburg. “At first we had a front row gig by the Nittany Highland Bagpipes Band who used our yard to tune in the shade. then the paratroopers landed with incredible precision. A beautiful day for sure. »