BROWNVILLE – The parade at Brownville’s Freedom Celebration July 4th started with a howitzer shot, grand marshals Dan and Elaine Hanson and included Mr. and Mrs. Firecracker, as well as the king and queen of the Strut Your Mutt Dog Show.
Phil Lutz of the Fremont Pathfinders, joined by Bill Hayes of Mayhew Cabin and Bill Dean of the Sons of the Union Veterans, fired the 1846 field howitzer with six-pound gun.
Even with modern fireworks still ringing in parade goers’ ears, the howitzer made its dominant explosiveness heard.
It wasn’t loud enough to jolt the queen of the dog show, however, a three-year-old bloodhound named Vada.
Kerri Bensheimer of Shubert walked the parade route with the regal queen.
Bensheimer: “She’s pretty relaxed and loves everybody. She walks around all these dogs and doesn’t think twice about anybody, doesn’t get too worked up about anybody. So, I think her demeanor is what won today.”
Leon Redbone Crotty, a border collie mix named after a famous jazz musician, was selected king. He was shown by Ryan Nash and his daughter Liston, who was named the show’s cutest owner.
The best look alike was Jim Aden of Brownville and his dog Luka.
Jan Wright, dog show organizer, said Brownville is a dog-friendly town.
Wright: “The female bloodhound this year, Vada, was just gorgeous. She was just a gorgeous specimen. The male, a beautiful Australian shepherd. It’s nothing really, everybody gets a prize. Everybody gets goodies. It’s just a fun outing.”
The parade also featured this year’s Mr. Firecracker and Ms. Independence Charlie and Jody Anderson.
Jody plays weekly for the Brownville Christian Church and was music director at the Brownville Village Theater for eight years. Charlie has twice been president of the Brownville Historical Society.
They help with the flea market each year and participated in the festival’s patriotic program.
Crotty: “We’re doing the music in the park. We’re playing the trumpet and piano. The Brownville Village Theater kids are singing along and the audience is singing along. It will end with Charlie playing TAPs.”
Dr. Hanson and Bob Sailors gave patriot award tributes and the audience sang God Bless America.