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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Staff Writer
The crowd was lined up along Main Street, the hamburgers were cooking, the band was setting up, kids had their faces painted and the old courthouse was littered with decorated bikes, sidewalk chalk drawings and dogs dressed in their holiday best. So a little bit of rain wasn't going to stop Springfield's ninth annual Independence Day celebration.
The festivities got under way at 6 p.m. with contests for the kids, local food vendors and plenty of blue sky. From time to time, there was an intermittent rain drop or two. The question of the day was if the rain would stay away.
The first hour of the celebration went off without a hitch as children grabbed sticks of chalk and started coloring the sidewalk in front of the courthouse. Magnificently decorated bicycles lined the courthouse lawn and people from near and far mingled as if they were old friends.
Cross Main Street was lined with food vendors selling funnel cakes, corn dogs, and more.
The parade down Main Street started a little after 7 p.m., and so did the rain. Lots of it. As the master of ceremonies, Ralph Blandford, introduced Isaac Stevens to sing God Bless America, the skies opened up, sending many celebrants to their cars for rain jackets or umbrellas.
Some were clearly not prepared for the precipitation as they huddled in doorways or on the courthouse porch.
Following the parade, a performance by the band Wild Roses featuring Aly'an entertained the crowd.
The contest for Best Decorated Bike was won by 4-year-old Dalton Carney. Second place went to Andrea Clements.
The "best decorated dog" was Scooter, who Elizabeth Goth Chelberg had dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Second place went to Macy, owned by Rachel and Katherine Griffits. An honorable mention went to Shia, entered by Josh Barlow and Brittany Coyle.
The sidewalk chalk contest was won by Mac Stevens of the Springfield Presbyterian Church.
Both the watermelon eating and seed spitting contests were canceled due to inclement weather.
For a finale, the rainy skies over Springfield were illuminated with a fireworks display.
Those who stayed for the duration agreed that despite what the weather had in store, when it came time to celebrate America's independence, the forecast was for fun.