Several hundred people lined the streets of Central City, July 4, for the annual Central City Mainstreet Fourth of July Celebration. This year the event was back in full force with a full-scale parade, family-friendly activities, and events scheduled throughout the morning and afternoon.

The day kicked off with the popular 5K Hero’s Run, and 1K children’s race followed at 10 a.m. by the AMVETS Independence Day Parade. Children along the parade route waited anxiously for the procession to begin. They waited patiently to gather as much candy as possible as parade participants tossed them goodies.

The Peosta Color Guard – Post 13 led the parade followed by Central City Legion Post 421. One of the early highlights of the parade was the 18’ft. x 38’-ft. American flag carried by volunteers. In a community-sized show of respect, spectators removed their hats as the large flag moved along the route.

There were over 30 entries in the parade from all over Linn County. A popular parade entry was the Kentucky CoB Civil War living history soldiers sponsored by Central City Historical Society. The group accurately represented both Union and Confederate soldiers and brought a sense of authenticity to the event. After the parade, members were available at the Sawyer House to answer questions, have photos taken, and demonstrated various Civil War equipment and paraphernalia.

According to Brenda Taylor, Sawyer House curator and Central City Historical Society Sawyer House chair, the Civil War living historians will also be at the Brown Farm Pioneer Days, July 24 and 25.

“We enjoy these events,” said Brett Pomeroy, Civil War living historian. “Not only does it give us an opportunity to teach people about soldiers’ lives during the Civil War, we also get a lot of people interested in joining … and learning more about how to become a Civil War living historian.”

The parade garnered a lot of different entries, and there were a variety of classic and antique cars, trucks, and tractors. Spectators were also able to see a variety of hot rods and custom cars. Greg Lane, owner of the Polish Shop, brought his 1941 Willy’s Coupe.

The Iowa National Guard showed off an impressive military humvee. Luminaries from various agencies included, AMVETS State Commander, Dan McDonald, Riders State President, Casey McDonald, Dave Neterhouse, State’s Son Commander, and Nancy Carrier, State Auxiliary President.

Area emergency crews were on hand from Central City, Prairieburg, Linn County Sheriff’s department, Coggon, and others, displaying an impressive variety of emergency vehicles. Central City girls’ softball team were also on hand waving to the crowd from their float in the parade.

Several area businesses that were also present in the parade, included: Bodak’s Auto, Meadow View Golf and Country Club, Mindy Moyer Golden Comb Studio, NXT Bank, The Polish Shop, Love Your Look, and more.

All three of Central City Historical Society’s museums were open during the celebration. The Sawyer House, which has undergone many updates and improvements, was decorated in patriotic colors and Joann Carnahan, of Central City, welcomed guests to the historic house dressed in period costume.

“I’ve been a member of the historical society for about 10 years,” she said. “And I’m very happy with the direction we’re taking. Everyone is looking the same way and it’s exciting to be a part of the organization.”

Once the parade ended at Central City School, many people stayed to enjoy the after-parade activities, including: Mainstreet’s Homebrew and Wine Tasting at BIT Brewery; Chalk the Walk, where people of all ages got to display their creative side coloring the sidewalks; the Kiddie Carnival; and the very popular petting zoo, where a litter of St. Bernard puppies got their fair share of socializing with event goers.

Live music was presented by the AMVETS Post 37 and was held at the beer garden. Ron LaFleur and the Boy Scout Hippies played many old-time favorites for an appreciative crowd.

All-in-all, this year’s Fourth of July celebration was a roaring success and many people remarked it was a great event and they were glad it was able to be put on this year.

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