The Fourth of July puts the small town of Seymour on the map. Last Wednesday, hundreds donning their red, white and blue set up their blankets and chairs along the parade route.

"I think it's just good American spirit and everybody's excited for the Fourth," said Lauren Redmon of Seymour, in anticipation of her first Seymour Fourth of July parade. "It's a small-town feel."

Jack Dollahon of Mahomet brought his family from eastern Tennessee to experience the fanfare.

Dollahon was seeing the parade for only the second time.

"I was always combining wheat on the Fourth of July every other time," he said while laughing. "So I get to come to 'em now."

For Dollahon, the experience is unlike any other.

"The festivities ... it's almost like a carnival atmosphere," he said. "It's surprising how many people know each other and just get to visit in this atmosphere."

First-time attendee Tammy Zindars of Mahomet was excited to share the experience with her daughter, Jessica Bailey, and 6-year-old grandson, Ryan.

"I've lived in Mahomet 26 or 27 years and this is the first time I've been," she said. "I wanted to come so I finally made an attempt to get off work to come."

Unexpectedly, Jessica Bailey bumped into a high school friend who was visiting from Louisville, Ky., while making her way to the parade.

"They were on the track team together. They threw shot put and discus together," Zindars said. "She happened to be walking down the road and saw us. I haven't seen her in years."

"It's kind of fun," Jessica Bailey added. "Only in small-town USA."

Those in the parade for the first time, such as Kelly Curry from Seymour's Topflight Grain Cooperative, were especially excited about the parade.

"I'm very impressed with the turnout here," she said.

Curry's float was a golf cart decorated to appear as a plane.

"We use to have a motor that would turn the propeller," she said. "It seems to be a big hit. Everybody really likes it."

Probably the most excited float entrants were Mahomet's Cub Scout Pack 25. Led by Craig Kempher, 16 Cub Scouts sat in the back of the Cornbelt Fire Protection District's firetruck.

The boys were enthusiastic to toss candy, of course, but they were also eager to throw paper airplane promotional fliers featuring their pack, not to mention being able to use their water guns to cool off both themselves and the crowd during the warm, morning parade route.

Other parade staples included over 50 tractors, with one of them being John and Ruth Durbin's 560 International.

Despite it being at least her sixth Seymour parade, Ruth Durbin said she never tires of the children's enjoyment.

"We just like it," Ruth Durbin said. "We enjoy the festivities and watching the kids' eyes. Their eyes get big and you know they want candy."

For Ruth Durbin, and many others, one thing remains impressive of the small town's display — the crowd.

"That a community this small can draw this many people, it's just amazing," she said. "We enjoy it very much."