Thursday, July 8, 2010

Small Town Pride in a Big City on the Fourth of July

Members of the German American Heritage & Pride organization of Philadelphia ride on an incredibly long bike.

For the first time in years we stayed home for the Fourth of July and spent the day in the city. We were strolling down Chestnut Street in the Old City neighborhood when we stumbled upon the staging area for the annual Philadelphia Independence Day Parade.

Marching bands, ethnic groups and charitable organizations were waiting to participate in the parade that was dedicated to saluting American Armed Forces.

That night a big time concert and fireworks display was held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway that could rival any event in the U.S. More than 100,000 attended the event. In fact, the Fourth of July is a week-long celebration that attracted more than 3.5 million people.

But despite the big city atmosphere of the evening event, the afternoon parade could have been held in any small town in America. And that’s the thing about Philly. It’s a big city that manages to maintain a small town feel.

More videos can be found here. More pictures from the event are below:

U.S. Navy personnel were honored along with the other armed forces at this year's parade.

You can't have a parade in Philadelphia without the Mummers. They prepare to participate in the parade.

Shriners on motorcycles.

One of the more colorful participants was the Singo Lodoyo traditional Indonesian dance troupe from Washington, D.C. More pictures below.

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