BLADENSBURG — Braving Sunday’s frosty air, more than 200 individuals turned out to watch the 40th rendition of the Bladensburg Christmas Parade, honoring grand marshals Rusty and Joyce Rine.
The Rines said it felt “great” to have been chosen to serve as grand marshals for the parade.
“I was involved in the first parade 40 years ago,” Rusty said, “it feels good to be grand marshal today.”
“I’ve been to every one of the parades since Rusty and I were married,” said Joyce. “It’s a great community tradition.”
That tradition is what keeps people coming back to volunteer with the parade. Rick Rowley, of the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department, echoed the same sentiment as many others at the parade.
“It’s been a tradition that started 40 years ago. I’ve been doing this for 35 years to keep this community thing going.”
Other fire departments represented in the parade were Fredericktown, Mary Ann Township and Utica. The guests didn’t mind the cold weather or the drive to get to Bladensburg. They said they were there to show respect. “It’s community,” one Utica firefighter remarked.
Spectators also spoke of the sense of community and the small town’s cultural heritage highlighted by the parade. Hillary Hess was one of those, and she was accompanied by her daughters Brooklyn, 6, and Kylee, 4. Not overly impressed with tradition, Kylee said she was at the parade to see Santa.
Some kids had fun engaging in playful snowball fights while waiting for the parade to start, and then enjoyed scrambling for the candy distributed by parade participants.