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Micanopy  Parade crowd Barnett IMG 0764

RAINA BARNETT/Alachua County Today

Spectators line the historic streets of Micanopy on Monday morning to watch the 4th of July parade as it winds through town. Later in the afternoon, crowds gathered at the Micanopy ballpark for music, food and games as they anticipated the upcoming fireworks.

MICANOPY – The small, historic town of Micanopy, nestled between Ocala and Gainesville, brought in Independence Day with style with several events Monday.

The annual parade, showcasing the fire department, police department, stallions, old vintage cars, and Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty in the flesh, began at 11 a.m. with a fish fry hosted afterwards at the Micanopy Historical Society Museum.

Following a small dirt road off of U.S. Highway 441, further events were held at the Micanopy ballpark later in the evening.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., country music, classic American food like shaved ice, cotton candy and hamburgers, and sports like soccer and Frisbee were enjoyed by local families.

Micanopy Middle School hosted concessions for the first time, teaching the students who volunteered valuable hands-on experience in a job-like environment.

“This is a great experience for the kids, and they’re really excited to be out here and in charge,” said Kristin Black, a teacher and volunteer leader at Micanopy Middle School.

A bounce house for children was free and the main attraction for many of the younger visitors.

Wendy Liopiros and her husband, Stefan, have been residing in nearby Reddick since they were children, and brought their daughter, Alena Sophia, to the event.

“We used to trick-or-treat around here,” Wendy Liopiros said. “And I’m really happy it’s not raining, my friend in Virginia said her 4th of July celebrations got rained out.”

Debbie Gomano, a Micanopy town administrator, gave tractor hay rides to children until fireworks started.

“This is my first time doing this,” she said. “I really love it, it’s so fun!”

The night ended with families gazing into the night sky as fireworks blazed in celebration of America’s 240th birthday.

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