Each year, people from all over Northwest Indiana come to Michigan City to celebrate 4th of July on The Lake. Indeed, our small slice of America has a lot to offer those who live here and visit during the summer; not the least of which being Michigan City’s 59th annual Patriotic Parade, which was held Saturday morning.
“Today’s event is all about celebrating our veterans,” said Mayor Ron Meer. “We like to call this our patriotic parade.”
The parade has been held annually for almost sixty years. Parade floats representing all sorts of local institutions, schools, and businesses lined up in front of Michigan City High School’s Ames Field and made the slow crawl north along Franklin Street to the border of the Uptown Arts District. People from all over Northwest Indiana, young and old, from all walks of life pitched tents and set up folding chairs next to one another to enjoy the show and celebrate our country. Pride for our country and all of the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much was obvious as crowds smiled and cheered for each float.
“There is emotion involved in this parade,” said Master Sergeant Anna Lloyd. “There’s genuine heartfelt support and gratitude and love of our country.”
Master Sergeant Lloyd was asked to be the Grand Marshall of the parade, along with her family, the Sobeckis. The family has a long tradition of military service dating back to her grandfather. This service was honored as their float, a stylized wooden bridge, made its way down Franklin Street.
“My children gave a lot of their time to the service,” said Valerie JoAnne Reyes, Lloyd’s mother and a long time parade attendee. “They had family that they left and couldn’t come home to.”
Those sacrifices were honored throughout the parade Saturday morning, with floats celebrating those who have dedicated their careers and given their lives in service to our country.
“[The parade is important] to honor our veterans and our military,” said Candy Martin, a first-time attendee from New Carlisle, whose son was performing as part of the parade in New Carlisle High School’s marching band.
It wasn’t just Northwest Indiana residents who were honoring our country and veterans Saturday. Local institutions, such as Franciscan Health, participated in the festivities.
“I believe this brings the community together, it celebrates our nation,” said Jeremiah Souza, Manager of Volunteers at Franciscan Health. “It puts our name out there that we’re here to serve the community,”
Northwest Indiana came together in Michigan City to celebrate not only our nation’s founding, but those who fought for our freedoms. Family ties were celebrated as well, as many gathered with loved ones to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made for our country.
“This reflects on the entire city,” Mayor Meer said, “every segment, every neighborhood, everyone across the entire city is here today and represented. It is truly a Michigan City event.”