Marching in the Rain

Last week's parade ran smoothly despite brief downpour
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A brief deluge midway through the Gillett Fourth of July Parade doesn’t slow down Cub Scout Pack 4035. The temperature was 92 degrees when the parade started, so many of the marchers and crowd members appreciated the shower. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

It rained on the Gillett Fourth of July Parade, but only for a few minutes, and the deluge didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits.

The forecast was hot and muggy with scattered showers, and for once the meteorologists got it spot on. It was 92 degrees with mostly sunny skies when the parade launched from the school parking lot precisely at 2 p.m.

There was one dark cloud on the horizon and, about 20 minutes into the festivities, one of those scattered showers broke loose on Main Street.

The floats kept floating, and kids splashed through puddles to retrieve the candy being tossed by the passing trucks.

By the time the visiting Oconto Falls Fire Department brought up the rear around 2:45 p.m., the sun was shining again on newly washed streets, vehicles and paradegoers.

“I could have used a midday shower anyway,” Police Chief Jess Keplinger told the Gillett City Council on Thursday evening, saying that except for the downpour, it was the smoothest Independence Day celebration in his five years.

The Gillett Civic Club complimented the police services, and he was proud of the job his staff did, Keplinger said.

“The other officers and I really went down and just made the effort to get out and get in touch with those in attendance, and the gentlemen (from the club) were very happy,” he said.

Fire Chief Kurt Hicks said it was a good time to get new firefighters acclimated. The department held a family picnic Monday night, took a turn serving at one of the concession stands Tuesday and helped during the parade, he said.

The parade results:

Best Use of Theme, “Star-Spangled Salute” – first: Klaus Lake Bar and Grill; second: Kohl’s Dairy Farm; third: Boom Boom Boys.

Civic/Community – first: Lambrechts Service Garage; second: Pat’s Market; third: American Legion Riders.

Youth – first: St. John’s Lutheran Church; second: Gillett Marching Band; third: Gillett FFA.