By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — July 4th came to Winona Lake a day early.
There were plenty of events on Saturday, July 3, for people to enjoy as they celebrated America’s birthday.
The town’s annual parade included horses, firetrucks and the 2021 Miss Kosciusko County Cassadi Colbert. The theme was “Past, Present and Future.”
The Kessler family won the prize for the Most Entertaining category. The entry featured nearly all of Jim and Susanne Kessler’s grandchildren decked out in attire from various decades.
The Kesslers’ daughter Janelle Meyer said the family has participated in the parade for about 20 years. The tradition started with her niece Lynae Dawson, the oldest Kessler grandchild, dressed as Betsy Ross when she was about a year old, and has evolved to including all four of the Kesslers’ daughters’ kids.
“It’s the highlight of their year,” said Meyer of the kids participating. “They like to dress up and throw candy.”
Other winners in the parade included:
Judge’s Choice: The Surrey Team
Best Theme: James and John Swain
Most Creative: Elise Swain and Beka King
As the evening turned to night, people could enjoy a variety of patriotic music, courtesy of the Wagon Wheel Symphony of the Lakes’ Salute to America concert.
Selections included everything from the National Anthem and works by John Philip Sousa to a suite from the play “Hamilton.”
The night ended with fireworks in all colors exploding over the lake.