Floats. Candy. People. Fun. Sun. Saturday's annual Bettendorf Fourth of July Parade had everything a good parade needs, including great, sunny weather.
"This is our first year, our first time coming to the parade, but we were very impressed," said Mary Egger of Davenport, a Chicago native. "We were at the Chicago South Side Fourth of July parade Thursday night. When I came here, I didn't expect much. But this was as good as the one in Chicago."
She watched the parade with her friend, Beth Hausch of Bettendorf, and their children. Afterward, they went to the annual Old-Fashioned Fourth of July festivities at Cumberland Square.
"I come every year," said Hausch. "I love it. I wouldn't miss it. It is great to see familiar faces."
For the Crowley family of Bettendorf, Friday was a day to celebrate with family.
"Actually, it is our first time at the parade," said Holli Crowley. She was there with her husband, Brian, and son, Brayden, who is almost 2 years old.
"It's free and a nice day," Brian Crowley said. "It is something to do with family."
"And celebrating the Fourth of July is something to keep us home," Holli Crowley added.
Jeff Dellitt was among a group assigned to judge the floats and other entries for awards. The judges all were members of the former Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce Trail Blazers, a group that assisted with community events.
"This is our annual get-together, to judge the parade," Dellitt said. "It is fun. I like to see the people dressed in red, white and blue and show a lot of spirit."
He said there were 83 entries in the parade, which traveled down parts of State and Grant streets.
Adam Seitz was enjoying his afternoon at the festival on Spruce Hills Drive, which was blocked off to traffic and lined with tents, food and vendor booths, and two stages for bands.
He was there with his parents, Susie and Jeff Seitz of Bettendorf.
This is my first time here in a long time. But I used to come as a kid," he said. "This is a great event, a lot of fun."
"He came for a corn dog," laughed his mom.
"Yes, I came for a corn dog. That was one of the reason," Adam Seitz responded.
"I like the support from all the city departments heads, mayor, aldermen," Jeff Seitz said. "All the people I know from the city are giving their time to put this together."
"There is a sense of family," Susie Seitz said. "Bettendorf is a great place to live. It is a good, safe place to celebrate the birthday of our country."
Casey Hoffmann was one of many Bettendorf city officials and employees who were giving away free ice cream.
"We set up the water, power, for all the vendors and we help with giving ice cream to people," he said. "It is a nice day and a good community. Everyone loves coming to give back to the community."
"We come every year," said Jessica Wood of LeClaire. "I grew up in Bettendorf. The parade is my favorite."
"The people come together and has a good time," added her father, John Baker of Bettendorf. "Plus, the weather is good this year. We were praying for good weather, and here it is."