Patriots on parade: Children’s School parade sets tone for festive Fourth

From left to right: Reagan Abbott, Ellie Grant and Addison Steere walk to "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus during the annual Children School 4th of July Parade on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. PAULA OSPINA / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

It was never a question. There is simply nothing better on the Fourth of July than fireworks.

“I like the fireworks, but I’ve never seen them,” said 5-year-old Charlie Weber, an American flag hat fit snugly on his head. “I’ve heard about them though, and I’ll see them this year.”

Five-year-olds Harrison Koerner and Harrison Cornelius agreed.

“The fireworks are my favorite part,” both boys said. 

Both Harrisons, Charlie and the rest of the kids from Children’s School brought their own explosive Independence Day celebration to the grounds Tuesday morning.

The revelry started with the 3s, 4s and 5s parading jubilantly down Pratt. Every so often, they would stop and loudly cheer “Happy Fourth of July!” or “USA, USA!” for the crowds that lined the street.

Rounding the corner of Bestor Plaza, the kids mounted the Colonnade steps.

There, for a smiling crowd that extended far onto the plaza lawn, they belted out tunes of freedom like “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “This Land is Your Land.” But first, they introduced themselves with “The Children’s School Song,” the song that 4-year-old Galen Giroux likes singing most.

“The Children’s School song is my favorite song,” Galen said before launching into a solo rendition of the tune as he prepared for the parade.

With their faces and arms painted with American regalia, the kids cheered, sang, clapped and stomped the morning away on sunny Bestor Plaza.

For many of them, the best part of the Fourth didn’t come until the sun had set and fireworks were launched. But for those who witnessed the Children’s School celebration, the best part of the holiday may have come not long after the sun had risen.

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The author Nathan Healy

Nathan Healy is a second-year graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is pursuing his M.A. in professional writing. Following his undergraduate studies, he spent eight-plus years teaching at an all-boys private school for court-adjudicated youth. In addition to writing and reading, Nathan enjoys traveling, eating at new restaurants, spending time with his niece and nephews, and being physically active.