Thousands were on hand this morning as the Hamilton and Middletown 4th of July parades worked their way through the streets of Butler County’s two largest cities.
Dogs, children and attendees in patriotic outfits lined the streets of both communities, cheering as bands trumpeted music to celebrate Independence Day.
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The theme for this year’s Hamilton event was “Celebrating Hamilton’s History With its Churches.” The parade, which stepped off from the county fairgrounds, ended at the county Historic Courthouse, but a patriotic program and a Taste of Hamilton continues throughout the afternoon. Open houses at local historical sites will continue until 4 p.m.
At RiversEdge Amphitheater, “Outa Here” was set to perform at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Noah Wotherspoon will be on stage at 8:30 p.m. The day’s festivities are set finish at 10 p.m. with fireworks launched from Veteran’s Park sponsored by the RiversEdge Concert Series and David Shaw’s Big River Get Down.
Middletown’s big fireworks celebration happened Monday night at Smith Park on Tytus Avenue and featured live music by the Romantics. The town celebrated Independence Day on Tuesday with its annual parade, which started at Woodside Cemetery and ended at Smith Park. The park is where parade award winners were announced and a children’s fishing derby was held.
Many attended the parades as a family, munching on treats waiting for festivities to begin.
Five-year-old Brooklyn Gettner and big brother Braylln, 8, were on High Street in Hamilton with their father, Russell.
“We come every year. It’s a blast,” Russell Gettner said.
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Braylln said he is attracted to the bling in the parade.
“All the fancy cars,” he said with a smile when asked what he likes best about the parade.
Kevin Allen has been going to the Middletown parade all of his life.
“I just love the Fourth of July, I love the fact that people pay the price that I can have freedom,” said Allen, a Middletown resident. “I enjoy the liberty and opportunity to raise my children in a free country … I just love America.”
And as the country turned 241 on Tuesday, Abigayle Weidner, from Madison Twp., turned 16.
“It’s just nice that I get to have fireworks on my birthday, and I get to have a parade and see everybody that I know,” she said.
Besides her birthday, she enjoys Independence Day because “it’s freedom. Everybody gets to celebrate it.”