In Spite of Storm, Small Crowd Takes to Parkville for July 4 Parade

A downpour of rain in the Kansas City area Tuesday morning couldn’t wash away all the enthusiasm for a July 4 tradition.

Scores took to the streets of Parkville for the town’s Independence Day celebration despite facing early morning rain that poured down through much of the city’s annual parade.

While the steady storm left parade goers and participants alike soaked, political groups passed out candy, as a pageant queen and military veterans waved from cars and underneath umbrellas.

Kids fished lollipops out of rain puddles and waved back at the dozens of people that drove by them on the parade route.

It wasn’t the sunny fourth of past years, but those who lined the streets tried to make the best of the soggy situation.

Northland resident Mary Alexander brought her family to the parade and watched the kids chase after candy thrown from the passing vehicles.

“We come every year,” she said. “It’s kind of tradition for our family so we didn’t want to miss it.”

And 8-year-old Caitlyn Alexander said the parade was fun, but summed up the experiencing by saying “it was very wet.”

Reed Burggrabe brought his 3-year-old daughter Marian to the show, fully decked out in rain gear.

It was the first parade for Marian, her father said.

“It’s America, man, you’ve got to come out and celebrate the Fourth of July,” Burggrabe said. “Doesn’t matter what the weather is.”

The rain didn’t seem to do much to dampen the spirit of T.J. Hainkel, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran from Kansas City.

“Being a ’Nam vet, I’ve been through much worse,” said Hainkel, who rode on a float for VFW post 7356. “And so a ’Nam vet will take a storm like this and complain about not having soap.”

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw

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