Scores of cheering, flag-waving residents lined Southold’s streets Monday for a Fourth of July parade bursting with hometown spirit.
The 14th annual parade, organized by the Southold Village Merchants, is a favorite among families and visitors alike, said Robert Mullgraf of the Southold Fire Police. “Everyone gets in the act,” he said.
Riverhead resident Sharon Anderson brought her grandchildren Madison, 2, and Hunter, 6, of Mattituck, for their first-ever visit to the parade.
Not only is the event fun for kids, with horses decorated in their holiday finest and a sea of festive floats and bagpipers, but it’s also educational, Anderson said.
“It teaches them the meaning of what Independence Day is all about – about the men and women who fought for our freedom,” she said.
Pirates and ponies, bagpipers and rock bands, tractors and twirlers marched along the parade route, which stretched from the Wayside Market along the Main Road.
The 45-minute parade is a favorite, especially among children, said Susan Mackenzie, a volunteer with the Southold Village Merchants who was handing out red, white and blue balloons.
“It shows them they’re a part of the community,” Mackenzie said. “All they have to do is bring a bike or a dog and they’re in the parade.”
Photo: Brian Gilmartin, 3, Mary Gilmartin, 5, Brendan Padgett, 8, James Gilmartin, 7 and Grace Padgett, 10, wear festive hats for Southold's Fourth of July parade. (July 4, 2011)