TOPEKA, Kan. (KNST) – With music, fireworks and cars lining the streets, Topekans aren’t shy about making the most of their Fourth of July and some of the Independence Day parades have become neighborhood staples.
“It’s a neighborhood parade and it’s just Americana at its best,” says College Hill Parade Organizer Susan Duffy. “It’s just our way to just take a moment and celebrate what this holiday is all about.”
This is the 26th year for the College Hill Parade, and it has grown up from very humble beginnings.
“It was really small that first year. It was basically kids on trikes but we had a great time.”
The parade boasts a much larger crowd now. Political candidates even took to the streets to make an impression.
Just a couple blocks down was the Annual Collins Park Parade where there was more of the same.
“There’s a lot of people. It’s a big year because of the candidates being a part of the parade,” says Sarah Hischki, one of the five founders of the original parade. “It makes us feel wonderful. People look forward to it all year long.”
Hischki says she never would have guessed it would grow to this size when it started.
“45 years ago we had our very first Collins Park annual parade. Not knowing if it would last a year or two or last 50 years.”
But with a 45-year track record, odds are pretty good that it’ll last even longer.
“I hope it goes on for another 45.”