Longtime Miami Springs residents say the traditional Fourth of July parade has been going on forever and that’s about as close as anyone can nail it down. Nevertheless, the hometown parade is arguably the most revered event in the city.
The fireworks show is also popular and attracts thousands of viewers from Hialeah and other parts of the county. However, the small-town-flavored parade attracts and entertains most of the residents, who either take part or line the streets to watch.
This year’s parade drew more than 50 participants — floats, cars, marchers, vehicles — which topped any number in recent history. And, as always the weather was perfect, although brutally hot.
Also taking part was the Village of Virginia Gardens, Town of Medley, City of Hialeah and Miami-Dade County’s firefighting vehicles. As always, participants included area Little League teams, along with soccer and tennis players.
The year, the Miami-Dade County airport squirt truck was unable to take part but there were squirters aplenty from parade participants and watchers.
Beginning from the Community Center, the parade took Westward Drive to the Circle and then hooked a hard right to traverse Curtiss Parkway to the Golf & Country Club. Activities behind the country club included inflatable bounce houses and water slides.
For some unknown reason, there was no food available at the country club. However, Springs resident Alex Anthony, who is running for State House District 111, was there to shake hands and he gave away 500 cans of Coke, 500 bottles of water, 1,000 bags of chips, and popcorn. “We ran out in about an hour and a half,” said Anthony.
The annual baby contest began at noon with 32 under-2 participants and each had a cheering section with parents and countless relatives. The judges were Vivette Bain, Shelley Shultz and Miss Jr. Orange Bowl USA Luisaura Alvarez. As always, every baby received a trophy or ribbon, which went directly into his or her mouth.
“At least 20 members of our staff made this happen,” said administrative assistant Katherine Anderson. “Of course, we couldn’t have done this without Patti Bradley and Omar Luna. It takes a lot of work to make the parade happen and run smoothly.”