ST. LOUIS — The celebration of America’s birthday this weekend is underway around the St. Louis area.
And there seems to be a little “extra” party considering there was a time when we had reason to believe COVID-19 might prevent this.
From St. Charles County to the Mississippi riverfront, St. Louis-area residents are marking the occasion and taking note of the fact that they are able.
In Webster Groves, some families turned out early to get a good seat for the Fourth of July weekend Community Days Parade.
Sitting in the front row, Laura Wunderlich said, “Actually, we lucked out. We got here about a half-hour ago.”
Andy Haskenhoff explained why he was there.
“Brings back what America’s all about, right here,” he said.
Tom Zetlmeisl was accompanying a half-dozen or so kids who were sitting on the curb.
“We did not have to arrive early,” said Zetlmeisl.
His curb-side seating was a pretty good deal.
“It is, it is,” he agreed.
Meli Hasting was holding her son, Preston, on her lap.
“We were here last year,” said Hasting, “but Preston is a die-hard fan of these parades.”
Leslie Thomas was sitting with a group on the other side of the street.
“We come every year,” she said. “We’ve been coming here since I was a kid, and now we bring our children.”
Heritage and Freedom Festival organizers in O’Fallon, Missouri, bet against COVID, last winter, when they planned a three-day event in July.
The payoff was great weather.
Brett Figus is an O’Fallon communications specialist.
“There’s a lot of room,” said Figus. “We’ve taken some steps. Things are more spread-out than previous years. We’ve got more handwash stations.”
In downtown St. Louis, there was another parade Saturday morning – the newly named America’s Birthday Parade.
Parade-goer A.D. Hilliard said, “We have a grandson that’s going to be marching in the parade.”
Gina DeWitt said, “It was good nerves of excitement to be able to do this today.”
Parade-goer Mary Ann McDaniel said, “I’m waiting for my daughter, Abby, who plays mellophone in the Marching Panthers in O’Fallon, Illinois.”