Thousands of people crammed Main St. in Eaton Rapids for the annual Fourth of July parade, but this year had a different atmosphere than others.
"I personally really liked it," says Sandy Dockey, who has been to around 30 of these parades in Eaton Rapids. "It has a lot more going on."
The stuff going on? Music, food, and vendors. Plus an expanded kids zone.
"We've got a food court area, where we've got some of our food truck vendors that are going to be out," says Troy Stowell, an organizer of the parade. "And we brought some live music into town."
Stowell chairs the Eaton Rapids Quality of Life committee and is responsible for everything in and around the parade. The food trucks, vendors, and kids zone were off on side streets that people could stop by before and after. But coordinating it all, and coming up with something new, wasn't an easy process.
"It's been stressful but it's been good," says Stowell, "It's a lot of fun trying to deal with the different vendors, trying to be a little bit more creative year after year."
The creativity this year was adding music. A DJ played on Main St before the parade, and even had kids come out to dance once the road was closed to traffic.
"I think the music really went with what they were doing," says Aaliyah Olger, "It was fun, I loved it."
The DJ also emceed the parade itself, and played music at the kids zone afterwards.