Nebraska’s largest 4th of July parade draws thousands despite heat

Thousands flocked to Ralston for the state's largest Fourth of July parade Monday afternoon.
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Ralston, home to Nebraska’s largest 4th of July parade was bustling with thousands of community members Monday afternoon for the 62nd annual parade.

“We’re the best country in the world! We need to keep getting it better though,” says attendee Don Johnson.

Ralston’s parade is also one of the longest-running parades in the state with a record turnout each year.

“It’s just lovely, I mean we probably have 40,000 to 50,000 people here today and after COVID and everything that’s gone on, we’re really blessed to have so many people, you know the governor came and everyone came today and I’m really happy about that,” says Ralston Mayor Don Groesser.

“We try and make it out every year just to see all the support out here, good crowd, and always meet new people,” says Allen Fulcher, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army.

Fulcher says seeing continued support at events like Ralston’s parade each year is heartwarming.

“It’s nice to see with the changing climate that’s going around but it’s always nice to be able to come out to the parade and it seems to be growing every year so that’s always a plus,” he adds.

Not only is it the biggest but it is one of the longest-running parades too.

Attendee Don Johnson has been coming to the parade every year since 1973.

“We like it, it’s relaxing, we see people we know, and Ralston’s a good community, and I’m so happy they keep doing this,” he says.

This year, the parade featured dozens of Ukrainian-Americans, showing Ralston’s support as they continue their fight against Russia.

Mayor Groesser says it’s a reminder not to take our freedom in America for granted.

“We actually flew Ukrainian flags during the first week of the Ukrainian war to support that and we have a Ukrainian church here in town. We really have a lot of people that are Ukrainian and we’re really supportive of it, and you know it’s so sad what’s happening in their country.”

Just like every year, the parade was a hit.

“The bands, the Shriners are always good, the band the firetrucks. It’s all good. it’s stuff you don’t see every day. It’s interesting!”

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