The American Patriot Parade held its third annual 4th of July parade Sunday in downtown Hillsdale.
About 90 different cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles and even bicycles registered and participated in the event.
The parade started at 6 p.m. with a performance of the Star Spangled Banner in front of the courthouse. Jonesville American Legion Post 195 led the front.
The parade lineup included, but was not limited to, The Shriners, multiple emergency units and fire departments, Hillsdale BPU, community farmers on tractors, and Hillsdale College representatives.
There were also several politicians including Mayor Stockford and his competitor this year, Rhondee Butcher. WCSR drove in the parade with their car dressed in flags and banners.
Fetched Dog Grooming, Christian Faith Riders of Coldwater, a car promoting autism acceptance, several other Christian church and organization representatives, the Hillsdale Community Library, and various other community members followed closely behind.
Danielle Mentz, an organizer for the event, said the parade organizers were thrilled with both the turnout for the parade and by the community to watch the event.
“We had a really good turn out for participants and the streets were packed with people watching,” Mentz said.
Steve McDowell served as the parade marshall.
“Steve is known for his many years of service in the Hillsdale Township and Hillsdale city fire department,” a statement from the parade said.
The parade started in the midtown parking lot and then took a route through downtown. Some community members were upset because the route was a new one, so the American Patriot Parade organizers said they will work with the city to have a better route next year.
“Next year we will work with the city council and city police to possibly get back the original parade route,” Mentz said.
Mentz said she and other organizers are happy for the event to be such a continued success after it was first organized in 2020, a year that COVID-19 led the many Independence Day celebrations being canceled.
Since it began, the parade has received growing support from the community. This year was no different, with hundreds gathering downtown to participate and watch.
“We are grateful to live in such a wonderful community,” a statement from the parade organizers said. “It was great to see everyone watching the parade and the joy it brought to everyone.”
Mentz said it is important to remember what the 4th of July is all about and encouraging that is the parade organizers’ favorite part.
“Our favorite part of the event is watching the community come together to celebrate our liberty and honor those who purchased us our liberty with their lives," he said.
The fairgrounds fireworks concluded the night.
This article originally appeared on Hillsdale Daily News: Hillsdale celebrates Independence Day with parade