Freedom parade shows children love the U.S.A
Kadi Schell, 10, and her 8-year-old sister Kassie sat in their wagon surrounded by white stars and red and blue banners. Their older sister Kierstin, 12, held the wagon's handle, ready to start down Plumas Street.
"We went for a patriotic kind of idea," Kierstin said. "(Being in) the parade shows that we care and it's a fun way to show other people."
The Schells were among the hundreds of children who attended the third annual Children's Freedom Parade in downtown Yuba City on Monday. Children decorated their bicycles or wagons to celebrate the Fourth of July.
"It kind of takes you back to an original old town parade," said Karen Schell, the girls' mother.
Lady Liberty (Vickie Sanchez of the Yuba City Parks and Recreation Department) led the parade, waving to the crowd as she rode on a decorated flatbed truck. Sammy Cesena, 10, dressed in a blue jacket, striped red and white pants and a top hat to look like Uncle Sam - minus the beard.
"Not only do people get to show off their bikes, but they get to show how much they love America," Sammy said as he marched.
But when he reached Bridge Street, the heat got to him and he wanted to take off his jacket. Riding in a wagon seemed more appealing.
"You can just sit back and relax as you go through the parade," Sammy said as sweat dripped from his cheeks and onto the asphalt.
For 9-year-old Megan Jensen, relaxing during the parade was not an option. She had to pull a red wagon holding two of her cousins, then a third cousin who hitched a ride. Still, she said the parade was fun because it celebrated Independence Day.
"I saw a lot of people I know, and I saw some enthusiasm. People seemed to like it," Megan said.
The parade concluded in the town square where people lined up for hot dogs, chips, drinks and cake. Nine-year-old Amelia Elrod sat with her family after riding her skate board decorated with blue and red stars.
"It was cool because you get to ride your bike or you get to skate board. You get to ride something," Amelia said.
As festivities were coming to a close, Lady Liberty continued parading through the town square.
"I think every city should have (a children's parade)," Sanchez said. "It brings the community closer and shows its patriotic spirit."
Appeal-Democrat intern Olga Muñoz can be reached at 741-2400. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.