Residents celebrate July 4th at parades

BYU-Idaho students march alongside the school’s float during the Rexburg July Fourth parade. KRISTIN PLANER | Scroll Photography

The 83rd Rexburg Fourth of July parade started at 10 a.m. in Smith Park.

The community gathered along Main Street at S. Second West to cheer on the floats.

“I liked the old cars and tractors,” said Lynn Durrant, a senior studying business management. “They were really cool, bright red and green and blue.”

The cars, which dated back to 1924, 1947 and 1953, were driven by their owners. These drivers were followed by the Jefferson County Teen Queen, the Idaho Ballroom Academy and a dance routine by the Madison High School cheerleaders.

The Sons of Utah Pioneers and Daughters of Utah Pioneers won the Mayor’s Choice Award.

The crowd cheered as a group of LDS missionaries walked on the street, stopping for a moment to have their picture taken.

“We love seeing the culture of Rexburg,” said Rachel Oberholzer, a senior studying English education. “It’s a different place, and you can tell from what’s included in the parade.”

Local businesses tossed free samples into the crowd, and the Madison High School cheerleaders handed out Otter Pops.

“Fourth of July blows my socks off,” said Tyler Minetto, a junior studying business management. “There’s nothing like an Otter Pop on a hot day.”

The BYU-Idaho float featured a giant, orange sun sporting black sunglasses. The quote underneath said, “Another Great Day at BYU-I.”

More students followed behind the float, carrying an American flag.

“As long as I’ve been here in Idaho, I’ve come to the Fourth of July parade, and every year it gets better,” said Taylor Jensen, a senior studying humanities. “I love the sense of community at the parade. It’s nice to come together with people other than students. I heard they used to hand out chocolate milk. I think they should bring that back.”

Idaho Falls also held an Independence Day parade with the theme “Pride in Patriotism.”

The parade went from 9 to 11:30 a.m. There were 106 floats and over 150,000 spectators.

Patty Lardone, of Seattle, flew into Idaho Falls with her family to meet up with friends and spend the day together.

“We come to Idaho Falls every year, not just to see friends, but for the parade and the fireworks; they’re the best,” Laronde said.

Local businesses, high school bands, dance teams and youth groups represented their organizations and shared their talents with their floats.

A group of girls from Jill Searle’s School of Dance performed a patriotic dance routine with American flag potato sack skirts, making a tribute to Idaho.

The designer took potato sacks, cut them into skirts and painted American flags onto them, in an attempt to add some local culture to the celebration.

Mountain River Ranch, a western-themed diner and show restaurant had a pretend showdown.

Many parade watchers said that this year was just as good as in the past and that they enjoyed their experience.

“My favorite part of the Fourth of July is getting together with family and friends and having the freedom to enjoy the day and our great country,” said Jackie Knutson, of Idaho Falls.

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