Patriotism in a pandemic
Gowrie Fourth of July parade marches on
GOWRIE — Pandemic or not, patriotism was on display for Gowrie’s annual Fourth of July parade on Saturday.
But unlike past years, there were no high-fives to be seen between friends and no candy hitting the pavement for children of all ages to chase after.
Despite the differences, the rich tradition marched on.
Mary Patterson, of Lohrville, led the way holding Old Glory and riding horseback.
Her father, John Lizer, led the parade for many years. He passed away in September of 2019.
“That was significant to Gowrie that she did that,” said Marcie Boerner, owner of Liberty Market in Gowrie and office manager at Webster-Calhoun Cooperative. “Very neat.”
Meanwhile, Glenn Worrel, a Gowrie volunteer firefighter, made memories with his children.
Brantley Worrel, 6, and Lesley Worrel, 3, got to ride in a fire truck with him. Their cousin, Obin Songer, 11, was along for the ride, too. Brantley Worrel sat on his lap for part of the time, anyways.
“Some years I drive; some years I don’t,” said Glenn Worrel, who has served the department for nine years.
He was glad it was his turn this year.
There was a slight change to the parade route.
“We are going to go past the care center since they can’t go out,” Worrel said.
The crowd was more spread out than in previous years as people were cautious about the spread of COVID-19.
And it did impact the turnout.
“Usually there’s a ton of people,” Worrel said. “This year looks pretty light. With COVID-19, I don’t know.”
Worrel was encouraged by the number of people who showed up for the Fire Department’s pancake breakfast earlier that morning.
“We did have a good turnout for that,” he said.
There were some newcomers to the parade as other Independence Day festivities throughout the state had been canceled.
Ethan Wilson, of Boone, traveled north to come to Gowrie.
“We usually go to Ames,” he said. “They canceled.”
He found a nice spot in the shade where his daughter, Scarlett Wilson, 4, could enjoy snacks and wave as law enforcement, firefighters, veterans and politicians made their way down Market Street.
Amber LeMonds, of Rockwell City, made sure her children wore red, white and blue.
Brenley, 6; Kennan, 1; and Kysen, 4, joined her for the festivities.
“We’ve come every year since I was a kid, so we couldn’t stop the tradition,” she said. “Though we were really hoping for candy.”