MORGANTOWN — Mother Nature was the opening act at Morgantown’s Fourth of July parade.
Participants were still lining up about an hour before the parade on the humid, 94-degree Wednesday when the deluge came down.
Raindrops exploded off wind-shields like mini-firecrackers.
Occasional rumbles of thunder did their best impression of the far-off drums of martial music.
No rocket’s red glare — but a strobe or two of lightning may have been spied in the middle of it all.
And Carter Dacks woke up from his nap just in time to become a rock star.
Carter, 3, was the official crowd-pleaser of the proceedings, as the storm moved on and the parade moved down High Street (under a more mellow sun and mercifully tamer, rain-cooled temperatures).
To generous applause at every block and intersection, Carter propelled his scooter with the help of his dad, Andrew Dacks, who was with him the whole way.
“Carter’s the shortest person in the parade,” Dacks, the elder, said.
“He had to work twice as hard. But you made it, huh, buddy?”
“I’m on a motorcycle!” Dacks, the younger, growled, while pushing his safety helmet up from
It was a family affair. Carter’s big sister, Anna-bel, 8, also rode her bike in the parade.
“Family” was a good description for the spectators who lined the sidewalks for the show.
Cheryl Melfi and Dan Eichenbaum laughed as they regarded the coiled anticipation of their
sons, Max and Aaron,
ages 5 and 3, respectively, who were ready to get this thing rolling.
“Hey, it’s a Fourth of July parade,” Eichenbaum said. “You gotta take your kids to a Fourth of July parade.”
As said, theirs wasn’t the only familial unit in attendance.
There were strollers of every stripe, to be sure.
And more toddlers, moms, dads and moms-to-be.
Family canines, also, with their inquisitive snouts and soulful, doggie-eyes locked on.
There were smartphone selfies, and shirts and hats adorned with the Stars and Stripes.
There were Shriners, with their fezzes and formidable maneuvers on homemade, motorized riding machines.
Languages other than English could be heard over the happy din on the day that celebrated the Republic for which it stands.
And that’s how the Fourth of July parade turned out on this day in 2018, in downtown Morgantown.