Honoring our country and its farmers

By Mary Rose Williams

July 4, 2013 Updated Jul 4, 2013 at 6:46 PM CDT

HOPEDALE, Ill -- When celebrating America's freedom, who can forget our farmers?

Hopedale, Illinois honored those responsible for growing crops as their theme this year, in their 2103 4th of July Parade.

It was called "the American Farmer, the Heartbeat of America", and it kicked off at 10 a.m. Thursday morning. Prizes were handed out at 9:30 for best tractor, float, horse/mule, and more.

The joyous parade took place on the corner of Main and Railroad Street, and it featured lots of floats, candy, cars, tractors, hay, even a fake horse on a float.

Spectators young and old gathered to celebrate the parade that's been going on for years; it's a family tradition for many, like two siblings attending who are newer to the excitement, and an old tradition for others, like a resident who's been going for 81 years now.

But all of them were there with the same purpose in mind: to celebrate our country's independence.

There will be a fireworks show at Hopedale Park Thursday night that starts at dusk.