ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford residents lined the streets of Downtown Rockford Monday for the parade, and the show finally got started after some wet weather.
Heavy rains forced the start of the parade to be delayed by about 30 minutes. The clouds eventually passed over and the sun peaked through for the parade goers.
“Our country is still free that we can do things like this, so this is to celebrate 200 plus years of democracy,” said retired firefighter Kent Hulett.
Hundreds of people lined Rockford’s Fourth of July parade route on Monday, waving flags and cheering. Mona Olsen and her husband lead the way for the motorcycles.
“It’s always super exciting because people are lining the streets and clapping, and the kids love to hear the horns and revving of the motorcycles,” Olsen said. “Motorcycles have been part of patriotism for a long time, with Army and other vehicles that they’ve provided since the 1900s.”
The event went off without a hitch, after heavy rain delayed it by about 30 minutes that is. Hulett is now retired after serving 29 years as a Rockford firefighter, and he brought his grandkids out to celebrate.
He recalled being in the parade years ago.
“I always enjoyed, I even had my kids riding in the fire truck with me,” Hulett said. “And this is always a fun day.”
Olsen believes that this holiday honoring the country’s birthday gives people the opportunity to reflect on what is truly important.
“I think Independence Day gets confused with a lot of other holidays, but its really about how our country became America,” Olsen said. “And I think its important that we look back and think about what it is to be an American, and it doesn’t always mean to be a political party. It means to be a good person who loves where they are, and loves where they live and is respectful to the country.”
Organizers said that this was not the first time rainy weather has halted things. It happened two years ago as well.