EDMONDS — Julia Westmoreland decorated her bicycle herself.
The 7-year-old decked out her purple and pink two-wheeler with glittering garland, an American flag and a shiny pinwheel. A blonde doll rode in the front basket, dressed as Julia was in red, white and blue.
Her sister, Audrey, 4, also rode a decorated bicycle. Their dad, Justin Westmoreland, carried an American flag and walked with them in the children’s parade in downtown Edmonds. A procession of bikes, strollers and wagons kicked things off before the grand parade Tuesday.
“The kids have been wanting to do the parade for a couple of years,” Westmoreland said. “We love the town and the quaintness. It’s a beautiful day, we’re patriotic and we’re just out here for some fun.”
Thousands joined them at An Edmonds Kind of 4th. Bubbles drifted in the air, children doodled with chalk on the closed streets and parents smeared sunscreen on little arms and legs.
Marisa Brown, of Mountlake Terrace, has been coming to the parade for three years. She brought her five children. The oldest is 11, the youngest are 9-week-old twins.
Brown loves the variety in the parade. It’s fun and fairly low-key, she said. The secret is to get there early and find a spot the parade. The family perched at a corner not far from the Edmonds IGA, where they could watch the parade come toward them on its first stretch.
The parade included police officers, firefighters, dancers, bands, church members, businesses, sports teams and local organizations. There were costumes, classic cars and upbeat music. The group that got the most cheers from the crowd was a line-up of representatives from branches of the U.S. military, including veterans waving flags or riding in Jeeps. There were cheers, too, for young gymnasts doing flips, bands playing patriotic songs and a Pride group carrying rainbow banners alongside American flags.
Mary Bradshaw brought her daughters, 5 and 2, to the parade. They’re from North Carolina.
“We’re on vacation visiting all of our family,” said Cammi, 5, who had temporary children’s tattoos on her cheeks of fireworks and “USA.”
Her favorite part of the day? “Everyone,” she said.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; email@example.com.