The Fourth of July parade is the oldest and largest parade in Rush County and is unique for several reasons. It is held in July, one of the hottest months of the year, last year more so than usual with temperatures above 100. This parade starts south and goes north; all other parades start north and go south. It is the only parade held on an actual holiday when many businesses are closed.
In deciding where to have the parade last year, we talked with the police chief, who let us make the decision regarding which street to use, but did say that logistically Harrison would be better. We drove up and down Main Street and up and down Harrison Street. The decision to have the parade on Harrison Street was made in good faith. Our concern was for the safety and comfort of the people participating in and watching the parade. We don’t want people sitting in the sun for over an hour with no shade overhead. We don’t want people walking in the parade without some respite from the sun beating down on them. Having the parade on Harrison Street makes sense for other reasons as well and traffic on State Rd. 3 is not blocked for an hour while the parade moves.
We’ve had more compliments and positive comments regarding the parade since its move to Harrison Street than we’ve had in a long time. Harrison is a beautiful, historic, tree-shaded street. There’s no reason there can’t be a parade on a street other than Main.
I don’t have a problem with people voicing opinions that differ from mine. That is the basis of a free and open society and that is what we celebrate on the Fourth of July. I don’t have a problem with other people and organizations having parades on Main Street or on any other street they choose. Community pride can be expressed anywhere and at any time. You don’t have to be on Main Street to do that.