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laporte parade again outstanding

Wednesday, July 05, 2017 14:03 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

The tens of thousands of people at the LaPorte fourth of July parade were treated to a military flyover.

Two A-10 Warthogs from the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Fort Wayne Air National Guard base twice flew above the parade route on Lincolnway to kick off the festivities after 10 a.m.

The over 100 unit parade billed as the largest in the state usually has a flyover but there had not been for a couple of years because planes normally available were seeing active duty overseas, said Joy Zigler, chairperson for the parade sponsored by the LaPorte Jaycees for 71 years.

''It's just a great patriotic day,'' said LaPorte County sheriff John Boyd walking in front of a police car in the parade that last for more than two-hours.

''It's an amazing crowd. An incredible day. So much to be proud of in LaPorte,'' said LaPorte mayor Blair Milo riding in the bed of a pick up truck with LaPorte 7th grader Grace Rinkel.

Rinkel is one of the 2017 Riley Children's Hospital Foundation Champions for overcoming close to a dozen surgeries related to serious kidney troubles that developed after an obstruction in the tube connecting the bladder and the kidneys was cleared.

Now, Rinkel encourages and raises money for other patients at the Indianapolis medical facility.

''It's a blessing to get to do this,'' said Rinkel, who was just recently informed that she would be in the parade.

Included in the parade were numerous antique tractors, clowns, pioneers riding in a horse drawn conastoga wagon, men playing bagpipes in kilts, military vehicles, and even aerial yoga performers.

One of the parade marshals this year was Chip Jones, a shortshop on the 1971 state champion LaPorte High School baseball team and current broadcaster of LaPorte Slicers baseball, basketball and football on WCOE FM in LaPorte.

''It's been alot of fun just doing the games. It doesn't get any better than that,'' said Jones, who also played baseball at Indiana University.

This was the 30th year the governor has proclaimed LaPorte the state capital for a day on the 4th of July.

State Represenative Jim Pressel (R) Rolling Prairie said governor Eric Holcomb was already committed to being in a 4th of Julyk parade downstate this year but promised to try and be in the LaPorte parade in 2018.

''I think he's hopeful,'' said Pressel.
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