HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) — Howland Township kicked off its Fourth of July celebration on Friday with the 5K Stars and Stripes Run.
Following the run, the annual parade featuring the Howland High School Band stepped off at Hunter’s Square. The parade route headed west along East Market Street to the high school.
The festivities also included a pet parade, a car and bike show, a pizza eating contest, music, games, food, and a flyover by the 910th Airlift Wing from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station. It all took place in the gazebo area in front of the high school.
This year’s theme was “America.”
Ronda Vaughn of Warren said this was the first year she and her family attended the parade.
“The kids woke up early to come and get some candy. It’s nice. We are having a good time,” Vaughn said.
Tim Clutter, a Howland graduate, said he comes to the parade every year.
“I think this parade is one of the biggest in the area. I love watching the kids get all the candy,” Clutter said.
Monica Rapp said Independence Day to her means family gatherings and remembering the reason behind the Fourth of July.
That was a sentiment echoed by Jeff and Kathy Reckner of Niles. They said they were at the parade to celebrate the fact that Major Curt A. Pristle is returning home after a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan.
“The land of the free is because of the brave. God Bless America,” Kathy Reckner said.