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Patriotism in a pandemic

Gowrie Fourth of July parade marches on

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Megan Alliger, of Gowrie, left, holds her daughter, Bailey, as she proudly waves Old Glory during the Gowrie Fourth of July parade on Saturday. Megan Alliger’s husband, Aaron, looks on from the driver’s seat of the Gowrie fire truck.

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.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Brantley Worrel, 6, center, his cousin, Obin Songer, 11, left, and sister, Lesley Worrel, 3, are all smiles as they sit in a Gowrie fire truck prior to the Gowrie Fourth of July parade on Saturday. Glen Worrel, the father of Brantley and Lesley, drove the truck in the parade. He’s a nine-year member of the Gowrie Volunteer Fire Department.

“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.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Mary Patterson, of Gowrie, leads the Fourth of July parade on Saturday. Her father, the late John Lizer, led the parade for many years.

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.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Amber LeMonds, of Rockwell City, brought the whole gang with her for the Gowrie Fourth of July parade on Saturday. From left to right: Brenley, 6, Kennan, 1, and Kysen, 4, watch the parade go by on Market Street.

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.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Scarlett Wilson, 4, of Boone, gives a wave during the Gowrie Fourth of July parade on Saturday. Her father, Ethan Wilson, is holding her. He said they came from Boone to watch the parade because the parade in Ames Was 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.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
David H. Anderson, a U.S. Army veteran of Harcourt, salutes fellow veterans during a tribute at the Gowrie Fourth of July parade on Saturday.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The Gowrie Fourth of July parade gets underway on Saturday.

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