HERRICK – A beautiful Saturday morning set the stage for the 2021 Herrick Fourth of July parade.

Parade organizer Brent Wallace coordinated the parade entries in the Cowden-Herrick Elementary school parking lot. Wallace said last year they had several more entries than they have seen in years past. This year he had just over 30 parade units.

“We have fewer entries this year,” Wallace said. “Last year we had 68 entries,”

“Last year we were pretty much the only parade around this area on the Fourth,” he said.

Wallace said Herrick has hosted a Fourth of July parade every year for the past 63 years.

“We haven’t missed one,” Wallace said.

Flying high over the parade route was a giant U.S. Flag brought to Herrick by the Pana Fire Department. Pana Firefighter Andy Macari helped get the massive 30 ft. x 60 ft. flag flying Saturday morning.

“We started several years ago with a 5 ft. x 8 ft. flag,” He said. “We then went with a 15 ft. x 25 ft. Flag.”

He said the department started displaying the flag for over 25 years for several special occasions including ceremonies and holidays such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“We’ve had the honor of hanging it up for a lot of people,” Macari said. “Anytime we get a chance, we love to put her up.”

He said the Flag displayed Saturday in Herrick has been flown by the department for the past 12 years. Next year the department plans to hang a larger U.S. Flag after a recent purchase of a larger fire truck.

“The new one will be 50 ft. x 80 ft.,” He said.

Meanwhile, down the parade route, a young Silas Stewart is anxious to see the parade. He blocks the sun from his eyes with his hand as he peers down Broadway Street to find out if the parade is starting. Adam Thull points out to Stewart where the parade begins.

Thull said he has been attending the parade for years.

“I like the fire trucks because they make the kids smile,” Thull said.

Sadie Stork brought her two sons, Landon, 5, and Nash, 1, to the parade from Tower Hill.

“I’m just glad there’s no rain,” Sadie Stork said. “It’s really good to be able to get out again.”

Parade participants could enter in categories including antique cars, costume, western, pleasure and floats divided into four divisions.

Winning first place in the antique car category was Charles Harris driving a 1956 Ford, Todd Stark took second place in a 1933 Ford and Third place winner was Edmond Hill in a 1931 Ford.

Heather Renee of Effingham received first place for best costume category while Jessica Miller took home second place.

David Carroll of Nokomis took first place in the western category followed by second place Nell Gilsinger of Pana and third place Amy Carroll of Nokomis.

Brian Seaton was the only registered entry in the pleasure division.

There four float category divisions were Church, business, organization and ATV.

The only entry and first place winner in the Church division was Christ Tabernacle of Herrick.

Megan Dain Weddings and Events of Taylorville won first place in the business division with her Uncle Sam created by several red, white and blue balloons; second place went to Chandlers of Herrick and third place went to Misties Daycare of Ramsey.

Two organizations entered floats in the parade. Sarver-Guthrie American Legion and Auxiliary Post 839 of Herrick took first place. Riding on the American Legion float was the 2021 Herrick Fourth of July Parade Grand Marshal Jim Hardimon of Herrick a Vietnam Veteran serving in the U.S. Army from 1963-1965. Hardimon served a 6-month tour of duty in Vietnam. Second place winner was Cowden-Herrick Future Farmers of America chapter.

In the ATV float division, Hot Rods for Cancer took first place; second place Country Firearms of Herrick and third place Size Matters.

Other Fourth of July activities in Herrick included a royalty coronation ceremony on Friday evening.

Alaynnah Rauch was Crowned the 2021 Herrick Fourth of July Queen, Princess Payton Underwood, Little Miss Brailynn Otto and Little Mister Koty Beck.

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

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Charles Mills is reporter and videographer for the Effingham Daily News. A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, he worked as senior video editor for a Nashville television station. He is a native of Vandalia.