FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Thousands of people lined the streets of sunny Fort Wayne today to watch the 42nd annual Three Rivers Festival Parade.
Indiana's NewsCenter brought you live coverage of today's parade, as nearly 140 entries paraded down the streets, throwing candy and smiles to the cheering crowds.
From those taking part to the kids eagerly lining the streets, today was a true representation of what the Summit City is all about.
Sirens blared, flags waved, and the band music played as the parade wove its way through Fort Wayne.
"It's pretty cool," said first time parade attendee, nine year old Alexis Clark.
For many, the parade is an annual tradition. Parade spectators we spoke with said they've been coming for years.
"20, 25 years," smiled Angie Arambula.
"Eight years," said Shannon Deprey.
"This is my first year bringing him," said Tracey about her young son Jayden. "But this is my babysitter. She brought us all growing up."
"Forever," laughed Autumn Vaubel.
Closing almost a dozen streets around town, the hot weather didn't seem to keep anyone away.
"It's hot, but at least it's not raining," said Deprey.
"We like to sit in the shade, but that wasn't possible. We didn't get down here early enough," said Arambula.
The Indiana's NewsCenter staff was part of the parade, as were numerous political figures, emergency responders, schools, and community organizations and businesses.
Everyone had their favorite part.
"The bands," said Deprey.
"Seeing the kids so excited and happy," Arambula added.
"Everything, everything, everything. Maybe the horses," said young Jayden.
"The floats," said six year old Lauren Sharp.
"The WildKat one," chimed in Alexis Clark.
"The Colts guys!" exclaimed Vaubel.
And we can't forget this year's Grand Marshals - Fort Wayne's two most prominent sports teams - the Komets and Tincaps. Among the other sports teams in the parade were members of the Indianapolis Colts.
"It means everything as a Colts fan to have the guys in it this year. I didn't expect that. I heard it on the news. I was stoked, I was screaming, very excited. I very much appreciate them coming."
Bikes, tractors, historic vehicles, flashy cars, motorcycles, and even an airplane cruised along the parade route which started along Wayne Street and finished up on Calhoun Street downtown.
"It's just really exciting and really kid oriented and he loves it," said Tracey smiling down at her son Jayden as he joyfully watched the parade passing by.
Since 1969 the parade for this nine-day-long festival has entertained Allen County residents, and it appears this year is no exception.
"It touches my heart. It really does. It brings back memories," Arambula said with a smile.
It was a great day for a parade, and the perfect way to kick off this year's Three Rivers Festival.
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