SEYMOUR — A hot and humid day on July 4 didn’t dampen enthusiasm in Seymour and Mahomet for celebrating Independence Day with a parade, patriotic colors, food and fun, and evening fireworks that lit up the sky in both towns.
The Montgomery family was prepared the morning of July 4 before the parade in Seymour stepped off. The home of Mike and Dalalee Montgomery was right along the route where trucks, tractors, antique autos, horses, walkers and much more took to the street to show off the red, white and blue to celebrate the Fourth of July. The couple, with son Matt and daughter-in-law Dawn, brought out chairs early and put them in a shady spot away from the hot sun’s rays.
They didn’t forget to stay hydrated, either. A small table with ice-laden drinks sat in front of them as they looked forward to the parade — the first parade in Seymour that they were witnessing.
Mike and Dalalee hadn’t sat down to watch any parade for decades, they said.
“We haven’t been to a parade in 30 years,” Mike said.
The pair are new to town, coming from Texas, to be closer to Matt and Dawn, who live in Sadorus. Their other son lives in Michigan.
A special guest for the Montgomerys was “Harvey,” a large stuffed bear decked out in lots of red, white and blue who had his own chair on the lawn.
“He’s all excited. Can’t hardly control himself,” Mike Montgomery explained.
The annual morning parade — and accompanying car show and kids’ events at the Methodist church — drew a crowd that filled Seymour streets with onlookers who viewed dozens of antique tractors, numerous automobiles, horses and many more parade entries, all sporting the colors of the day.
Later in the day in Mahomet, people began to gather at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve long before the official 3 p.m. start of Freedom Fest, which culminated about 9 p.m. with fireworks. Early arrivals cooked out, set up tents, lay down blankets on which to watch the firecrackers after dark and visited vendors with goodies ranging from shaved ice to barbecue.
Many people took to the water via kayak and paddle boat rentals, while other families fished or just listened to music. Volunteers ushered vehicles in to park them neatly on the grounds in preparation for a huge crowd.
Young and old alike appeared to enjoy the Independence Day celebrations, and the patriotic spirit was in the air.