The annual Erhard Fourth of July Parade sees family and friends come from all over to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day.

While national news is busy focusing on the parade in Washington, D.C., arguing whether it was a show of patriotism or a campaign rally for the current president, in Otter Tail County Highway 59 near the small town saw its population close to triple with visitors. It was pretty clear that political affiliations were outshined by community members love for their country.

American flags were present in all shapes and forms at the event. With flags big and small, there were also those that literally worn their patriotism on their sleeve, as well as, their boots, T-shirts, hats and more. Children were saluting the flag and collecting candy as members of the parade would throw out goodies.

While the heat left many ducking for the closest shade, floats scurried across the highway to allow those in attendance and opportunity to wave, smile and thank them for putting on the event.

After the parade, there were other events for community members to participate in. While many continued to enjoy their time in Erhard, others got back in their cars and went back home or to the lake. With many having the day off from work, the time would be spent watching baseball, firing up the grill or just spending a day with family and friends.

Later in the evening, fireworks would don the sky as Otter Tail County citizens celebrated Independence Day. The “pops” and “cracks” heard across the county and the lighting of the night sky are special to Americans on the Fourth of July.

Lately, the talk has been only about President Trump’s alleged “hijacking” of Washington, D.C.’s celebration. The use of tanks and other military vehicles brought protests from citizens about their uses. It’s a shame that this is a conversation that could not get resolved before we celebrated another year in American history.

It is nice to know that, locally, we can enjoy a parade that is shared by so many, brings so many memories and celebrates Independence Day in a positive manner. We would like to thank the organizers and those that participated in the parade for making it something that the people of Erhard can be proud of.

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