Thousands attend Stevens Point parade - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Thousands attend Stevens Point parade

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- Like any good birthday party, the Fourth of July in Stevens Point had friends, family and a strong sense of community.

Patriotic spirit was running high at the annual parade.

Organizers say almost 10,000 people headed downtown to see 65 floats and organizations march by.

When asked what makes them proud to be Americans, people at the parade gave a variety of answers.

"I can do what I want, when I want, and I hope it stays that way," said Capt. Raymond Potocki of the Stevens Point Auxiliary Police Department.

"I'm most proud of my community," Jami Gebert, the parade coordinator. "I love living here and I love being involved."

"I'm most proud that we have the freedom to express ourselves any way possible," said Michelle Abler, one of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Organizers say military units were at the front of the parade as a thank you for their service."

Norb Strasser served two tours in Vietnam. He says celebrating America's birthday with a parade feels right.

"It's a wonderful thing to show our colors and our guys, you can see we've got a good squad of people here, are pumped up every year to walk in this parade," Strasser said.

He wasn't alone in that feeling.

Abler celebrated the holiday with a traditional Revolutionary War-era outfit.

"It's important for us to remember the people that worked so hard and gave their lives and their fortunes so that our country could be what it is today," she said.

For some, simply being there with family was enough to get the patriotic juices flowing.

Leanne Drollinger was in the crowd with her twin five-year-old daughters. They wore American flag dresses.

"They love dressing up for holidays," Drollinger said. "They love it so we kind of go all out for every holiday."

The parade started at noon. It was a quarter mile and wrapped up in Market Square.
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