BLAINE - Thousands of people flocked to downtown Blaine on Thursday to celebrate July 4 the small-town way: with a parade, a car show and lots of snow cones at Blaine's Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration.
The sidewalk along Peace Portal Drive was packed by noon, as the parade started with a steady stream of classic cars, farm equipment and kids on floats.
"You've got to love small-town parades," Blaine resident Penny Magelssen said.
One of her friends was on a float in the parade, and she loves seeing the old tractors and all the smiling faces. Recent Blaine transplant Tasha McDonnell was out with her husband and two children, enjoying the car show, the parade and the crowds.
"It's like one giant family," she said. "The whole community comes together for one awesome thing. It's neat."
Kent resident Stanley Montgomery was taking in the parade with his 99-year-old mother and he loved seeing so many people out to celebrate the country's independence.
"It's good to be with people who share the same thing, just the excitement of being part of America," he said.
Montgomery, his children and his grandchildren are all staying for the week in Birch Bay - a family tradition for the Fourth of July.
"It's a pretty big thing," he said. "I know the grandkids really look forward to it. It'll be part of their heritage as they grow up."
The Old Fashioned 4th even drew crowds from north of the border. Coquitlam, B.C., resident Carly Foster and her family were in Blaine for the holiday while her brother entered his car in the car show. She said she loves the fireworks, the fun activities and the general spirit of the day.
"Canada Day is OK, but the Fourth of July is more patriotic," she said. "We came down for some American fun."
Reach ZOE FRALEY at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 756-2803.