The Northeast Ohio Live Steamers float makes its way around Medina’s Uptown Park during the annual Independence Day parade Wednesday.
NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE Enlarge
Medina County’s bicentennial was reflected Wednesday in the Independence Day parades in Liverpool Township and the city of Medina.
Crowds gathered around The Liverpool Township Historical Society railroad depot as historic vehicles from antique tractors to custom hot rods and muscle cars to Model T and A made their way into the parking lot to prepare for the society’s annual parade.
“I wanted to come down here and meet everybody,” Dan Harrison of Valley City said. “I mean everybody is here.”
Harrison brought his orange 1973 Volkswagen Thing to drive in the parade down state Route 303.
“They manufactured it for two years,” he said. It is just an inexpensive, very simple, fun little car.”
Historical society President Della D’Angelo said the event has been hosted by the society for many years.
“We start the organization (process) at the beginning of the year and try to get people to participate,” Dangelo said before the parade Wednesday.
“Whoever wants to join in, it’s a good day.”
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5563 led the way as the parade made its way out of the depot’s parking lot and onto the crowd-lined roadway.
Children collected candy tossed from the windows of emergency vehicles as well as tractors and classic cars in the heat of the July 4 morning.
Becky Parrott of Valley City came out to enjoy the parade with her husband, three children and two foster children.
“It’s the Fourth of July, you’ve got to come out,” she said during the parade.
Parrott’s sons, Caleb and Noah, agreed that their favorite part of the day was getting to see their friends.
The parade floats made their way onto the scene after the vintage farm tractors. Floats ranged from a silver scale airplane with “Radio Flyer” painted on the side to the Medina County Bicentennial Bell.
The bell has been making its rounds this summer at parades and celebrations around the county. According to information displayed by the bell, it was cast in 2002 in preparation for the state bicentennial in 2003.
County Commissioner Bill Hutson told The Gazette in April that once parade season is over, the bell will be given a permanent home.
Crowds began gathering in the shade of Medina’s Uptown Park in the hour before the city’s annual Independence Day Parade kicked off from Medina High School at 4 p.m.
Lawn chairs were set up and blankets carefully spread out as spectators found their place to watch the parade make its annual trip around the park.
Lawrence Skruck of Medina brought his nearly 3-year-old son, Nathanial, to enjoy the festivities. Both father and son were sporting patriotic clothing.
“It means a lot to our town,” Skruck said. “Everybody can come together at one time, friends, family and everything.”
Homer and Sandy Smith of Medina said they come to the annual parade every year.
“(We) celebrate the occasion, respect for all the soldiers, sailors, Marines and so forth that have given their lives to keep this county so we can come out to a parade,” Homer Smith said.
When the parade finally made its way to the square, spectators stood along the roadways, with children keeping an eye out for candy and popsicles from parade participants.
Medina County Domestic Relations Court Judge Mary Kovack rode in the rumble seat of a 1934 Chrysler along the route.
Other entries included an antique horse-drawn hearse from Waite & Son Funeral Home in Medina, vintage milk and ice cream truck and another appearance by the Medina bicentennial Bell.