SPARTA, NJ – A steady rain on July 4 did not put a damper on the festivities as people poured into the Lake Mohawk Plaza and adjacent areas to watch the annual Fourth of July Parade.
The parade is an annual tradition in Sparta coordinated by the Sparta Elks. This year the Parade Grand Marshal was Bill Curcio. Curcio and his family waved at the spectators, dressed in patriotic gear and riding atop a propane powered Eastern Propane truck, their enthusiasm for the event not dimmed by the weather.
Sparta’s Mayor Jerry Murphy, Lake Mohawk Trustees, local scouts, Sparta Historical Society, Lake Mohawk Ski Hawks and the Lake Mohawk Yacht Club were others who marched or traveled in the parade via floats.
Members of the military who marched or rode in the parade were greeted with cheers from members of the crowd who were guarded with umbrellas or rain gear.
Batman, Batgirl and the Batmobile were other highlights of the parade, with Batman stopping to pose with one boy who he showed his vehicle to.
OSCAR (One Step Closer Animal Rescue) walked with the dogs up for adoption and also had their rescue van riding in the parade.
Local beauty queens and the Queen of the Fair also waved to the crowd with beaming smiles in the midst of the raindrops.
Fire departments including Sparta, Andover Township, Hopatcong and Fredon blared their sirens and marched or rode in the firetrucks. Local first aid squads including Sparta, Fredon and Lakeland also marched and rode along.
The Sparta High School Marching Band was spirited in the rain, setting the pace to the parade with music as the drops fells.
The parade finished off with an array of antique tractors that made their way through the plaza.
At the conclusion of the parade, the Lake Mohawk Ski Hawks performed in their annual show.
The weather cleared for the annual fireworks display over the lake in the evening hours.
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