The spirit of Independence Day was on full display Wednesday at Kingsville's Fourth of July parade, where red-white-and-blue revelers came out for the morning festivities.
The parade's highlight was a flyover by two planes from the 177th fighter wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard, roaring over the heads of excited parade goers in their only Maryland appearance, according to the parade announcer.
Residents seemed moved by the fighter jets' display, and the military weighed heavily in the parade, which began with a moment of silence for those serving overseas for "freedom-loving people everywhere," the announcer intoned.
"The fly-by was emotional," Perry Hall's Margot Kopera said. She wore beaded American flag earrings under a floppy hat, and had come with her 5-year-old daughter, Brisa, and mother, Pat Kopera, also of Perry Hall.
"It was just a reminder of what is happening in our world," Margot Kopera said about the planes, explaining the Kingsville event was a "small-town parade" that reminded people of what was happening overseas.
"I think we need to remember what we are celebrating," she said.
Brisa said she liked the convertibles in the parade, and Pat Kopera thought it was a good chance to look at fire engines and wave their miniature American flags.
She also said it was easier to get to than Towson, where they went last year to see a July 4th parade.
"I think the kids have fun and it's a good way to show your colors," she said.
The parade drew hundreds of people from around the area, not just Kingsville.
June Byrnes, of Baldwin, came because her grandson was playing in the C. Milton Wright High School band.
Sitting comfortably in a camping chair under a shady tree, she seemed to be enjoying her first time at the Kingsville parade.
"The fly-by was magnificent, gave you goose bumps with the Viper," Byrnes said in reference to the plane.
"It's just an all-American feeling. You feel it here," she said, adding the parade gave a "very good community feeling."
With a red-white-and-blue announcer booth at the crossroads of Jerusalem and Bradshaw roads, the parade featured plenty of impressive floats, including a group of re enactors from Jerusalem Mill on a float reading "From the Cradle to the Grave Teach Respect for God and Country," a historic riflery group and a horse-drawn Conestoga wagon from a North Carolina group.
The parade's sense of history and professionalism seemed to impress the crowd.
Olga Robbins said she came up for the first time from Parkville along with Carrie Keen, an acquaintance visiting from Rockland, Me.
Robbins said she came because she heard good things about the parade.
"We just heard this is a very nice parade," she said. "I think we will be coming here from now on."
"It has more of a small-town feel," she explained. "My kids like the candy."
Keen also said she enjoyed having an announcer stand, noting the announcer was providing a lot of information about the parade.
Linda Alexander, parade organizer, was smiling from the booth and said she was very happy with how the event was going.
"It's terrific," she said. "It's our best one yet."