Independence Day was celebrated in Marietta Wednesday with a parade downtown and activities at the Washington County Fairgrounds, including rides for children, mud boggs and a fireworks display.
The day began with the parade, which started at Fourth and Butler Streets and concluded at Armory Square on Front Street.
Folks wearing red, white and blue and children armed with bags for candy lined the sidewalks for the parade.
Marietta High School marching band in the Independence Day parade
Units in the parade included politicians, first responders and even a van labeled "red neck hot tub" which was filled with water and children.
Parkersburg resident Sam Henry watched the parade with his grandsons, Kameron Kimball, 12 and Hunter Kelley, 5.
Henry pointed out some folks were still without power Wednesday from the storm that hit the Mid-Ohio Valley on Friday.
ASHLEY RITTENHOUSE The Marietta Times
The Marietta High School band performs during an Independence Day parade in downtown Marietta Wednesday.
"It's nice people are taking time to celebrate our freedom despite the crisis and difficulties we've had in the last few days," said Henry, 63. "We don't realize how much we do have until it's taken away. We are spoiled. Once it's taken away for a short period we realize what it's like for other countries that don't have utilities and things we take for granted."
Following the parade Marietta High School's band performed, a cannon was fired and Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews spoke in front of the armory.
Matthews shared a brief history of Independence Day with the crowd, noting that it celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, but it was not declared a legal holiday until 1941.
On July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
From 1776 until the present day, July Fourth has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.
July Fourth has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941.
"Be proud to be an American and always remember those who have fought and died to uphold the ideals that make our Democracy and make our country a free and independent nation," Matthews said.
Marietta resident Kathy Schmedes was among those who watched the parade. She and her husband planned to have a cookout with family members later in the day.
"My husband is a Vietnam vet and we're very proud of this country and everything it allows people," said Schmedes, 62. "There's unrest all over and the U.S. is a peaceful land."
Lots of folks got together with family and friends and had a cookout for the holiday but others enjoyed activities at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Marietta.
Wednesday night's fireworks wrapped up a two-day event there.
"We had about 1,100 paid attendants (Tuesday) night," said fair board treasurer Sandra Hickey. "I felt pretty good about it considering the heat and everybody just getting through a storm."
Fair board members said the mud boggs usually draw large crowds. Tuesday night's entertainment featured a demolition derby.
Shadyside, Ohio resident Bob Blake is among those who watched the mud boggs Wednesday.
"I'm in the middle of building a truck so I go to a lot of them," he said.