HILBERT - Strike up the band in Hilbert.A Fourth of July parade made its way right down Main Street.It's one of a dozen parades Friday in area communities.At 11:00 a.m. sharp, the 56th annual Hilbert Fourth of July Parade was underway.Veterans led the way. An estimated five thousand people took it all in."We stood up when the veterans came by, and the flags came by," said Jane Bauer, Hilbert.There were firetrucks and more."I've been coming here since I was a little girl," said Sharon Little, Sherwood.There were 96 entries in all."This is a great parade. There's a lot of candy. Lots of treats, kids love it," said Gaylen Haas, Appleton.And while a parade may be a good way to celebrate the 4th of July, many people at the event say the holiday means much more."It does, but you know, I get emotional about it because it's our freedom. Something to celebrate and teach the young ones," said Bauer."This country has fought hard to get where it's at. Some people don't necessarily agree with where we're at today. But a lot of people gave what they felt was what they needed to do to make this country free," said Steve Crass, Chilton."It means freedom, and all the men and women alive and that have lost their lives defending this country. It should be enough said," said Rick Ferrie, Brillion.And as the Chilton City Band made its way down the mile long route, parade organizers say Happy Birthday America."I like seeing the people coming to Hilbert, and also getting everybody together, friends and family, everybody getting to know each other," said Mike Loose, Hilbert Fire Chief."It's family. It's friends. It's freedom. It's tradition. It's fun," said Bauer.And,"Everybody loves a parade," said Loose.The Hilbert Volunteer Fire Department sponsored the parade.After the parade, people could attend the Hilbert Lions Club Picnic and fireworks near dawn.
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