Gladstone's Fourth of July parade had a special theme this year: 'Celebrating 125 years.' The parade started at 11 a.m. and traveled down Delta Avenue and ended at the park. Thousands braved the sweltering heat to view the festivities.
There were 85 registrants this year. Last year there were only 59.
The cityâ??s parade seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year. City manager, Darla Falcon, says the population of the city is only 5,000, but that number doubles to 10,000 on the Fourth of July.
Attending the event is a family tradition for many Gladstone residents. â??We run a business down here,â?? says Debra Lordson, of Gladstone. "And then we have our boat down at the harbor. Itâ??s just a really nice family event to celebrate with everybody."
The celebration was a new experience for others.
â??I've never been to the Gladstone parade,â?? explains Wilson resident, Jeremy Vandermissen. â??I always wanted to come down and check it out. I like seeing the different floats and all the different activities that are going on down here at the beach in Van Cleve Park. Iâ??m usually in Bark River or at the Stephenson events."
This year, there was something extra special to see. "To honor the 125th anniversary for the city, we brought in the Vietnam Veteran Wall. And that just touches so many people's lives beyond Gladstone's borders,â?? says Falcon.
The wall arrived in the city Tuesday afternoon. It'll be on display free of charge in Van Cleve Park 24 hours a day. It's an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Veteranâ??s Memorial in Washington D.C. On Saturday there will be presentations by Vietnam veterans, and the wall will be taken down at 8 p.m.