As the Fourth of July festivities continue, several children in red, white and blue gathered in excitement and anticipation as they waited for the Fourth of July parade to begin.
The annual Fourth of July parade took place 11 a.m. Thursday on Main Street and ended by City Hall.
The parade began when the crowd stood up to watch the Ames Police Department lead members of the American Legion down the street, holding the American flag in uniform.
Several of the observers said they celebrate the Fourth of July in remembrance of the soldiers and patriotism.
“I just really appreciate the Legion walking in the very front, presenting our colors and doing it really honorably and seeing people stand for the flag is a really great thing to do,” said Derek Stickfort, a veteran and observer at the parade.
Several observers of the parade said they also enjoyed watching the various bands which participated in the parade, including Ames Municipal Band and Ames High Drumline.
“I enjoyed the bands and anything with the military and flags, I appreciate,” said Kathy Johnson, an observer at the parade.
The parade featured a variety of floats, from non-profit organizations to community businesses. Each of the floats handed out a variety of objects to the crowd ranging from candy to meter sticks.
Marching down the street holding rainbow flags in the sea of red, white and blue, members of the Ames Pride Organization handed out flyers to the parade observers.
Alongside the local businesses, floats and entertainment of the parade, there were several floats supporting both local and presidential campaigns. There was a section promoting Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign, led by Ames supporters.
Sen. Bernie Sanders made an appearance at the parade, surrounded by the local Ames supporters for his campaign. Alex Mullins, who marched with Sanders at the parade, said he was involved to support the community.
“We’re getting involved in the political sphere, I guess, so we support Bernie, and we want to make sure that we see it through,” Mullins said.
George and Patty Naylor, organic farmers in Green County who also marched with Sen. Sanders, said they wanted a candidate that does not support large corporations in order to support the local businesses. George Naylor said there is a problem with produce being planted in other countries which causes the prices of the products to be below a livable wage
“I’m confident that Bernie Sanders could lead the nation in making the changes necessary to end the destruction of the environment on a world scale and restore family farm agriculture–where farmers are capable of treating the land the way it needs to be treated,” George Naylor said.