LOWELL | As a 1927 Studebaker went by sounding its horn, 7-year old Maggie Shultz wiggled to the beat, then ran back to her mother as a costumed character approached.
"I pretty much like all of it," the young Lowell girl said of the 94th Annual Lowell Labor Day parade.
Nearby, bubbles floated as Judy Wallen, of Merrillville, watched the parade and blew bubbles into the air. The marchers like it, she said. Her husband Bob, a veteran, and granddaughter Gabrielle Mori, 13, come every year to enjoy the veterans units and bands, they said.
Leona Rainford, of Lake Village, and her husband, Dennis, enjoyed the Lowell First Assembly of God Church entry.
"That's really cool. ... I marched in the parade in '56. I twirled a baton," she said.
Melissa and Kevin Pass, of Morocco, attend the parade every year.
"I lo-o-o-ve the Mi Ranchito horses," she said of the popular dancing equestrians.
Clapping turned to silence when the Indiana Fallen Heroes entry escorted by the Patriot Guard approached. A sea of Scouts and volunteers holding large placards, each with the service photograph and name of those who died in the service of their country, brought a hush to the crowd, then solemn applause as they marched by with placards high.
The Indiana Fallen Heroes project was begun in the Boone Grove school system and debuted last year under the sponsorship of the Boone Grove Middle School Honors Society.
"Wow. You see it in the paper, the names, but you don't get the scope of it until you see it in the street like this," Scott Turner, of Lowell, said.
Still subdued, Wanda Anderson, of Wheatfield, said, "That was really awesome. It touched my heart."
Aptly, there were many union floats and marching units including a large contingent from Ironworkers No. 395 which took a cue from the Dreaming Green theme of the parade and wore neon green shirts.
The Northwest Indiana Jeepers, an off-roading group, gave the huge crowd some thrills as two of the Jeeps tangled. "That's boss. They went on top of each other's wheels," Aidan Lamping, 11, of Lowell, said.
Morgan Heath, 10, of Lowell, comes every year. Holding a big bag of candy, she said, "I like the big floats."
She was rewarded with a Providence Baptist Church float, a large cross with recycled plastic bottles as a base. "Recycled Lives Begin at The Cross," the float's message read.
While many children dived for the candy tossed throughout the parade, Jaden Caillo, 4, was dainty about it. "She likes the firetrucks," her stepfather Frederick Peters, of Lowell, said as his son, 3-year-old Austin Peters, enjoyed the candy, too.
The four-day celebration concluded with festival eats, entertainment and fun into the evening.