Mother Nature rains on parade

MARTINSBURG – To some in the crowd gathered along South Market Street Tuesday, the rainbow in the sky minutes before Martinsburg’s agricultural parade would have suggested the worst weather was over.

It wasn’t.

Rain drove onto the parade for the better part of a half-hour, leaving only the boldest of children to dive for the candy thrown from passing cars and John Deere tractors. Nevertheless, nearly every spectator seemed willing to stick it out for the parade, the borough’s 31st.

“Usually we ride the truck,” said Lisa Walters of Roaring Spring, holding a plastic bag atop her head while her husband and three children watched tractors go by. In the past, she’s ridden with the Friendship Fire Company during the parade.

“This year, we decided to have family time instead,” she said. “Big mistake. We should have rode in the truck.”

While on-off downpours left many scurrying for cover, the sun’s eventual return allowed the thick crowds to enjoy the music, including both the Central High School and Northern Bedford marching bands, in peace.

There were historic cars, riders on horseback and the full Morrisons Cove aristocracy: a fire queen and fire princess, a dairy princess, at least one dairy maid and a little prince – not to mention little Miss Morrisons Cove and a handful of other monarchs.

But for the youngest spectators, it was all about the candy. One young boy, warned by his mother not to run in front of a massive tractor in search of Tootsie Rolls, replied: “I can go under it.”

The borough’s July 4 celebration is set to continue through Saturday, with carnival rides, live performances and food at the Morrisons Cove Memorial Park every evening.

Fireworks are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday nights.

Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.