If you were in downtown Anderson last Thursday evening, you could sense the excitement. Thousands of people descended on the downtown for Anderson’s Independence Day Parade and fireworks show.
The city had been without an Independence Day parade since 2009, and the community missed it. One of the problems with the past parades was the time. It was known as the Midnight Parade, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the Fourth of July.
The timing seemed like a good idea, and the Midnight Parade was popular for the better part of three decades. But in recent years, participation had waned, and the late start for the parade had become something of an invitation for mischief on the streets. Also, the late start discouraged families with young children from attending.
Last week’s parade started at 8:30 p.m. and ended by dusk, in time for folks to focus on the fireworks show.
While the police scanner was busy with officers noting various problems around downtown Anderson immediately before, during and immediately after the parade, nothing major happened.
The parade was, put simply, a hit. It featured nearly 70 entrants; some — like the Anderson High School Marching Highlanders — were made up of dozens of people.
The thousands who lined Anderson’s streets to watch were generally well-behaved, and everyone seemed to have a good time.
The fireworks that followed were impressive. Launched from the top of City Hall, they could be seen clearly from many vantage points extending far beyond the core of the city.
Anderson’s festivities actually began a few hours before the 8:30 p.m. parade, with the dedication of Dickmann Town Center Plaza, named in honor of local philanthropists Charles and Hazel Dickmann.
It continued with a concert at Dickmann Plaza before the parade. Food trucks came downtown to add another dimension to the festivities.