“Everyone gets excited about the Fourth here,” said Danah Collins, relaxing in a lawn chair on her front lawn moments before the parade began making its way in front of her home.
Her daughter, Ashlin, sat beside her, eagerly awaiting the handfuls of candy that would be tossed her way during the parade.
Gerry Good, who grew up in Walton and now lives in Kokomo, said he returns to him hometown often for the parade.
“Being from here and moving away, it’s nice to come back to your roots,” he said.
Good also said parades like the one in Walton are rare and worth visiting.
“You don’t see it everywhere,” he continued. “I live in Kokomo and I have to come all the way to Walton for a parade.”
Natalie Gotshall, from outside of Logansport, said she has been coming to the Fourth of July parade in Walton every year she can.
“It’s important to celebrate,” she said, adding that she enjoys seeing her son, a firefighter with the Cass County Fire District, in the parade.
For Gotshall, along with many of the people lined along the boulevard awaiting the parade, the event was a time to spend with family.
“I got my granddaughter and my great-granddaughter with me,” she said. “We’re carrying on the tradition.”
For Walton resident Carla Thomas, the holiday was especially important this year, she said, as her husband is currently stationed in the Middle East with the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
“I come every year,” she said of the parade. “It’s a small town, so you know everyone and you know everyone in the parade.”
Alicia Cunningham, Walton, said she enjoyed the parade because it maintains a strong bond throughout the community.
“It brings us all together for our common enjoyment,” she said.