The day could begin with a boat parade, a memorial run, or a big breakfast. We chose a big breakfast – bacon, eggs, pancakes, pastries…..

The sun was shining and the chairs were lined up along Sheridan Street. The parade began at 1:00 pm with the Shriner’s spinning circles in their cars and honking their horns. The streets were filled with red, white, and blue – homemade dresses, t-shirts, hats – the bolder, the brighter, all the better! We weren’t feeling crafty – Shopko had t-shirts at 60% off the day before.

Parade strategies:
– Bring bags – candy!
– Don’t sit, if you want to stay dry – many, many high powered water guns aimed at the crowd – yikes!
– The boys’ little league team use their best knuckle balls to throw the candy as hard
as they can at your head & face, – beware!
– Feel free to bring a dog – many adorable four-legged friends to dote over
– Cameras a must – capture the lawn chair ladies – difficult to describe to city folk
– Zup’s may take care of your grocery list, so shop after the parade – it’s amazing what they will toss to the crowd – chili
seasoning, pepper, gravy mixes, cereal
– Most of the stores close for the parade – shop before or after

What else can I say…
– Norman Rockwell painting – well sort of…small town USA – good old fashioned patriotism
– Discover friends along the parade route that you never knew grew up in Ely, had relatives in Ely, or live in Ely
– It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our independence!

There are many additional activities in the park, but I must say that after an hour or two at the parade, we are ready to head to the lake to escape the action.

The day ends with an amazing fireworks display over Miner’s Lake!

Independence Day in Ely is definitely a must-see event!

PS – Happy Birthday to my favorite Aunt Arlene – born on the 4th of July!IMG_8883IMG_8880IMG_8875