July 11, 2002
Fairfax resident Patricia Carnazza lucked out on July Fourth, finding a shady spot in Old Town Fairfax for the parade. As the temperature rose, spirits rose as well for many who felt the extra patriotic warmth this year.
Carnazza knew the shade was prime real estate.
"We were just lucky this spot was open. Everyone's feeling very patriotic," Carnazza said.
Janet Clark gave up her front-row place and gathered with her children, Lianna, 5, and Billy, 7, under an awning with fan in hand.
"We come here every year. This is the hottest one I can remember. You see a lot more red, white and blue [than in year's past]," she said.
Parade logo designer Jilliane Tyson was at roadside with her family. The winning logo of children's silhouettes rolled by behind a truck
"It's always been special, but it's even more special after what we went through as a nation," she said.
W.T. Woodson sophomore and Fairfax resident Katie Mills had a similar outlook.
"It makes me feel more patriotic, to show them we can unite after something like that," she said.
She heard the talk about possible trouble on the mall in D.C. but she shrugged her shoulders, not caring. That wasn't the reason she wasn't going later that night.
"We were going to Washington for the fireworks, but my dad thinks it's too hot and it might rain," she added.
The parade followed the essence of the crowd with horses, motorcycles, bands and politicians along with a hodgepodge of clowns, bagpipers and activists. Sen. George Allen was on a horse, while Fairfax mayor Rob Lederer walked along passing out candy. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman Kate Hanley (D) went by once in a car and another time on foot with Supervisor Sharon Bulova (D-Braddock). Del. Chap Peterson (D-37th), newly elected City Council members, the local HOGS (Harley Owners Group) rode by, alongside the clowns and veterans.
Politics wasn't on everyone's mind though, and the children all had their favorites.
"The clowns on the motorcycles," said Brittany Trumbull, 5.
"The Army stuff coming by," said 6-year-old Jacob Bergert.
"The little guys riding their cars," Meg Paxton, 12, added.
The loud motorcycles echoing off the building walls didn't scare 3-year-old Eddie Zakreski of Fairfax.
"The motorcycles going around in a circle" was his favorite.
Gloria Toner's wrist got a workout as she waved her fan at top speed. "It's 92 [degrees] on the thermometer at the bank," she said.
Jessie Kellogg was in a Statue of Liberty outfit with a green toga draped all over her and skin covered in green, pancake makeup. She was backing the sales tax referendum, sweating profusely. Her stone tablet was replaced with a pro-tax referendum sign.
"I'm very sweaty, but the breeze is helpful. Every time I see people clap and shout, it's worth it," she said.