Despite rain, Freedom Fest parades on
The possibility of rain for the Fourth of July parade turned into a reality as the 11 a.m. start time approached on Sunday. The 25th annual Spamtown USA Freedom Fest marched on despite the rain, and Austin's loyal residents lined the downtown streets.
The rain sustained throughout the entire parade, but so did the crowd of parade spectators.
Joe Allen and his wife, LuAnn, had no question that they would be attending the parade, and came prepared with their umbrellas.
"It's too bad the weather didn't cooperate, but we wanted to come to support Freedom Fest activities," Joe Allen said, "and I like the little Tootsie Rolls."
The Allens enjoyed all of the parade participants, especially the Alumni Band and Albert Lea's drum line.
"We were definitely coming, no matter the weather," Allen said.
Nick Castellano, who will be a freshman next year at Austin High School, came to the parade with some friends.
"I came here for the Lions Club," Nick said. "I like the go-karts, and I don't care if it's raining."
Bonnie Rietz and her grandson Teague enjoyed the parade as well. Teague ran in the mini-piggy mile with his sister before the race, and then was able to sit with his grandma and watch the parade under their big umbrella where they were able to keep dry.
"The parade is just the thing to do on the Fourth," Rietz said. It's fun for the kids, and even though it's raining we still had a great time.
The rain didn't seem to phase Teague in all the excitement of petting the llamas and receiving plenty of candy throughout the parade.
"The rain makes it kind of an adventure," Rietz said. "We wouldn't miss it."