The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 5, 2014

Parade highlights Fourth of July Festival events Friday afternoon in Conneaut

CONNEAUT — Red, white and blue dominated the color landscape for participants and viewers of the Conneaut Fourth of July Festival parade on Friday afternoon.

Dozens of units ranging from politicians, to horses, to fire engines kept young and old focused on the traditional parade that moved down Broad Street to Lakeview Park early Saturday afternoon.

Calvin Crawford, of Ashtabula, said his family has been coming to the parade for seven years now.

“My daughter was (marching) with Wildfire and the city does a good job on the parade,” said Crawford. He said area residents also do a nice job of decorating their homes for the July 4 holiday.

The Conneaut High School Marching Band and members of the Conneaut football team provided parade music and a few lively chants.

June Brennan, of Conneaut, said she has probably seen at least 50 parades in Conneaut over the years. She said the parade was better this year than last year.

“It’s better. They got a lot more people in it,” she said. Ruth Burdick, of Conneaut did not feel there was enough musical representation.

“I wish they had more bands,” she said.

The parade started around noon, but Burdick didn’t have to leave early. “I live right down the street. We left at 12 (noon),” she said while family helped her fold her lawn chair at the conclusion of the parade.

Clown bicyclist Bunny Hemphill has been riding her bicycle, decorated in red, white and blue, since 1977. “I just enjoy waving to the people,” she said.

Pete Furman, one of the Fourth of July Festival board members, said the high winds and chilly temperatures cut the Friday evening session short.

“It was windy and people were leaving,” he said.

Furman said he stays involved in the festival to help the community.

A variety of activities highlight the festival today with Conneaut Idol competitions at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the music stage with fireworks at 10 p.m.

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