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Rain or shine: Fourth of July celebrations thrive

Rain or shine: Fourth of July shines

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Despite the pouring rain, Hoosiers refused to let it dampen their spirits as they gathered to celebrate freedom and unity across central Indiana.

“Last year, all of our faces were sunburned,” said Carmel resident Brandi Lehikoinen. “We were trying to get all the water we could selling from the Boys Scouts and there was nowhere to sit.”

On this Fourth of July, undeterred families armed with colorful umbrellas dotted the Carmel parade route in honor of freedom.

“It’s been crazy. In our experience, it’s been super packed,” said Carmel resident Aaron Lehikoinen. “This is the deadest I’ve seen it by far.”

Known for it’s long-standing tradition of families reserving spots with lawn chairs days in advance, the rain-soaked spots remained empty.

“I think this year it started almost four days before,” said Aaron Lehikoinen. “These chairs have been out here collecting Sun.”

The parade had a vibrant array of floats, marching bands, and community groups splashing through the rain-soaked streets as they celebrated freedom, unity, and reflection.

“It is fun to see a community come together and just cheer each other on,” said Carmel resident Elizabeth Sanders. “I read a quote from John Adams, ‘Independence Day ought to be solemnized with Pomp and parade. With shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of the continent to the other.’”

Neighboring cities like Brownsburg decided to kick off their celebrations earlier than planned to stay ahead of the approaching weather.

“As a community, we’re really close,” said Brownsburg resident Madonna Gentry. “We are evolving and changing, but everyone seems to accept everyone, and we just really love the comradery and the extravaganza we have.”

In the end, many say it’s not the weather that defines the holiday, but rather the unity and pride bringing all Hoosiers together.

“We are so blessed in our country and if we can just pass that love on, then it will keep going, but if we stop, that’s where patriotism dies,” Sanders said.