CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP — The heat didn’t hinder families coming out to celebrate red, white and blue fun during the Independence Day parade in Crystal.
People gathered and sounds from horns and sirens blasted loud noises that echoed throughout the streets of Crystal as the parade moved through town.
Excited happy children raced to gather candy from various fire trucks, floats and other vehicles containing riders who were waving and smiling as they took part in the parade to celebrates America’s independence on a hot Wednesday morning.
There is no other celebration that can lure Lansing resident Barbara Foote’s family away from the annual July event in Crystal. Her family has been celebrating the Fourth of July here for more than 40 years.
“We built our cottage here on the lake in 1952,” Foote said. “Each year after we started coming here we have been at this spot for the parade.”
After the parade, many of the family headed back to the cottage to play in the lake and take part in many family activities.
Lansing resident Debbie Klingbeil who has been coming here ever since her parents built on the lake enjoy the chance to see the grandchildren play.
“We play bocce ball, washers and ladder ball,” she said. “We do it all — especially spend time in the water.”
The Foote family has been standing on the corner in front of the Crystal post office as long as Chicago resident Mark Kozolowski can remember.
“Well, I know I started coming with Carol more than 30 years ago,” he said. “I know we have an uncle who comes in from Denver sometimes and family from South Carolina sometimes comes too.”
The four generations of Footes who attended Wednesday came from Chicago, Lansing, Lowell, Vestaburg, and other surrounding areas.
“We wouldn’t miss it for the world,” said Lowell resident Ray Couturier.
“This is the hottest day I have ever experienced during the parade,” Ray Couturier added.
Temperatures were well into the mid- to upper-90s Wednesday and are expected to be the same today.
It was all about the candy and swimming for Ally Couturier, 12, and her cousins who were representing the fourth generation of Footes at the cottage on Crystal Lake in Crystal Township.
“I like hanging out with my cousins on the lake,” Ally Couturier said. “Playing in the water and dunking people too.”
After the parade, the Foote family headed back to Crystal Lake and enjoyed the rest of the holiday with some food, spirits, fireworks and family.
“It is a little bit of tradition we just try to keep going,” Klingbeil said.