By WARREN DILLAWAY - email@example.com
Anticipation was in the air Thursday afternoon as hundreds of people lined Broad Street waiting for the Fourth of July parade to make its way to Lakeview Park.
Small flags lined the lawns of homes along the parade route and tiny firecrackers could be heard creating the Fourth of July “feel” for the parade that included more than 40 units.
“This is my first time in quite a few years,” said Shirley Gerren who came to see her brother, a World War II veteran, ride in the parade.
Gerren said she decided to come because the weather looked good, but as soon as she backed out her driveway it started to rain.
Organizers were fortunate the rain missed the parade route during the event. A slow rain hit Lakeview Park about 10 minutes after the parade ended.
Marty Landon, coordinator of the Conneaut Fourth of July Festival, said the pageants were moved inside the Conneaut Community Center for the Arts because of possible rain.
Brian Walters, carrying his 1-year-old daughter Brianna, walked part of the parade prior to the start. “Just came out to see the parade. I have a couple of girls in the parade,” the Geneva resident said.
McKenzie Lemmo, outgoing Little Lady Liberty, waved to the crowd from a car while many children on floats fired candy to waiting children and adults.
Jeff Shumate was experiencing his first Conneaut parade after moving to the area less than a year ago. “It’s great. I just moved here from Florida. I really enjoyed it. I think it is a great parade,” he said.
Landon said there were more than 40 units in the parade. He said the festival is off to a great start.
“Fabulous, Fabulous. The event is falling into place,” he said while answering dozens of questions from volunteers and vendors at Lakeview Park.
The festival continues today with watermelon and pizza eating contests at 4:30 p.m. followed by the third round of the Dairy Queen Conneaut Idol that includes 11 contestants and starts at 5:30 p.m., Landon said.
Country Refereed will play at 8 p.m. followed by the fourth round of the Conneaut Idol competition at 9 p.m.
On Saturday Minute-to-Win-It games for children and adults will begin at 1 p.m. followed by the fifth round of the Conneaut Idol competition at 2 p.m.
Larry Darryl Darryl and Cherryl, a Rock, Country and Blues band will perform at 3 p.m. with the semi-final round of the Conneaut Idol competition at 5:30 p.m.
The finals of the Conneaut Idol competition will be held at 8 p.m. followed by Scarecrow, a John Cougar Mellencamp tribute band, at 9 p.m. and fireworks at 10:15 p.m.