“The whole community has missed it. It’s a chance to come together. It’s great to be back,” he said.
Kristin Fuller rode her red, white and blue clad horse in the parade, which started at Lakota East High School.
“We missed it last year,” she said.
For the first time since 2019 Butler County residents celebrated America's Independence Day holiday in traditional fashion as thousands attended area parades, festivals and evening fireworks. Celebrations were cancelled in 2020 due to public gathering precautions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The Marching Thunderhawks of Lakota East paraded through the school's neighboring streets Sunday morning as thousands cheered them on. (Photo By Michael D. Clark\Journal-News)
Later in the day West Chester Twp’s Voice of America Metro Parks hosted a “Taps, Tastes and Tunes Festival” in the shadow the VOA Museum building.
Live music joined delicious food truck aromas wafting through the air as families with children also enjoyed amusement rides brought on to the park grounds.
And mid-afternoon saw thousands line Hamilton’s central business district High Street to see their first July 4th parade in two years.
Amber Reiff, a long-time Hamilton resident whose multiple generations had always made the annual parade a family event, said there was a sense of relief in her household and joy about getting back to their tradition.
“It has been extremely wonderful to get back out and to just celebrate all of this with everybody,” said Reiff.
“It has been very hard not doing anything last year. So to everybody’s smiling faces back this year it’s extremely amazing. It’s definitely a family tradition and it has been a very big part of our lives,” she said.
Joe Kautz and young daughter Autumn made themselves comfortable on a large, inflatable chair curbside to better see the parade roll through downtown.
“It’s nice to be out and get these experiences back and mark these memories down and just come back out and just experience life again,” said Kautz.