Ahead of last year’s July 4th parade in Hamilton, Troy Schwable, as he usually does, drives the parade route ahead of its start.
Last year was the first time in recent memory the Independence Day parade crossed the High-Main bridge into the city’s west side.
“I held my breath when I got to the (Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers) Monument. When I crested the bridge, all of Main Street was completely full of people,” he said. “I was tickled to death that people like having it go that way.”
Troy and Kathy Schwable are the co-chairs of the Hamilton July 4th committee and appreciate the entirety of City Council and the mayor being among the volunteers for the parade.
“Kathy and I both have had comments,” Schwable started as he leaned forward, as if looking at something unbelievable. “’Is that so-and-so on Council?’ If you look around, our whole City Council’s here directing parade participants to their assigned divisions and rows.”
Though it does surprise some that the city’s elected officials are working the Fourth of July parade, Schwable said, “That’s our city. That’s what we do.”
This year’s theme for the July 4th festivities is “Ice Cream, Baseball, Apple Pie & the 4th of July, Hamilton, Ohio.” Those entrants in the parade include the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League, the Butler County Challenger League, and pending their schedules, Schwable hopes they can get the West Side Little League and other youth baseball leagues, as well as the Hamilton Joes, as parade participants.
He also said Cincinnati Reds mascots will be in the parade.
Before and after the parade, they plan to have music at the gazebo outside the Historic Butler County Courthouse featuring the Hamilton Concert Band and the Queen City Sisters, but the entirety of downtown Hamilton will be “like an old-fashioned ice cream social, where everybody is simply having fun. That’s the point of the Fourth of July. We’re there to celebrate, to have a good time.”
While Schwable appreciated Hamilton’s council and the mayor help during the event, he also said there are others around the city, from those in the police and public works departments, the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street Association, and the Hamilton Amusement Hospitality Association, and others have helped celebrate the birth of the nation.
Though the parade and downtown festivities end at 2 p.m., the celebration goes on. Many downtown and Main Street businesses and restaurants will have holiday hours, and the party shifts to RiversEdge Park at 6 p.m. with That Arena Rock Show playing until the fireworks show at 10 p.m. Fireworks are to be ignited from Veteran’s Park.
Parade entrants can still request a spot, and sponsors can still sign on, which helps finance the daylong celebration. For more information, visit hamiltonjuly4th.org.