Though the skies were gray, Norwalk was covered in red, white and blue Wednesday for the annual 4th of July Parade.
"It might be raining on my parade literally, but it's not mentally. This parade is going to be awesome," Norwalk High School cheerleader Brittany Hardy said.
Her enthusiasm was shared by many other parade participants.
"I'm excited and happy to be here," said Shay Collins, who walked with Christie Lane.
Lisa Mongiardo of the Baton Academy Twirlers of Norwalk said "I think it's a fun experience." She has performed in the parade 12 times.
The Red Hat Delights were also excited. "We're older ladies having some fun" Queen Mum Nora Downing said.
Spectators of the parade did not let a few light rain showers get them down, either.
"It was fun; I like the candy" 9-year-old Trenton Sheldon, of Norwalk, said.
Emily Hagan, also 9, said "I think it was very good. The twirlers were my favorite."
Happy faces lined Main Street, Benedict Avenue and Norwood as children, parents, grandparents and pets enjoyed the morning festivities.
The Ohio State Buckeyes float was a big hit. "I think it was the best," Linda Ream of Norwalk said.
There were 91 units in the parade, which lasted a little more than an hour. The parade is sponsored by the Norwalk Lions Club.
The judges announced winners in 13 categories.
First place awards went to the following: Twilight Garden, commercial floats; Teacher's Association, civil floats; Northern Ohio Fireman's Honor Guard, marching units (excluding school bands); George R. Hansen, antique automobiles; Stark's Sanitation Service, most unusual entry; James Smith, horse units; Norwalk Baton Academy, drill team units; Neil Hansburger, clown; Norwalk, fire companies; Boy Scout Troop 208, best theme unit; Calvary Baptist, best church float; Maple City Ice, best truck unit; Shady Lane BMX Racers, best youth float.
Runners-up were: Liberty Tax, commercial floats; Maplewood Acres, civil floats; Marine Corps. League, marching units; Don Nutter, antique automobiles; Shoe Trader, most unusual entry; Firelands Rails to Trails, horse units; Norwalk Police Drill Team, drill team units; Laney, clowns, and honorable mention: Fritz, clowns; Huron River Joint, fire companies; Firelands Museum of Military History, best theme unit; Michelle Grimwood, best church float; Firelands Lawn & Landscape, best truck unit; 4 Leaf Clovers 4H Club, best youth float.