OCEAN TOWNSHIP: At half past noon the Fourth of July parade stepped forth on Dow Avenue, near Highway 35 for its celebration destination at Joe Palaia Park where fireworks were scheduled for 9 p.m.
Parade watchers were aligned Dow from 11-ish with folding chairs, blankets or a spot on the railing at Dow Avenue school. Jody Huss was waiting with camera in hand to get a shot of his father, John Huss, the Grand Marshall, a former councilman, lifelong resident and community supporter.
Police Chief Steve Peters was at Dow's drive exit where he could see the marchers early in the route , his Police Color Guard leading the way down Dow to Whalepond and then to Palaia Park, a 1 ½ mile road on a great weather day.
Drum sounds were heard and the colors seen in the distance. The guard, the band, the fire engines with neighbor FD from Deal leading the first responders. The exception had been made to have family members ride in the vehicles and help toss candies to the road side cheering youngsters,
A 1930 Model A Ford, coupe with rumble seat was first behind the first responders, then a funny old car in red white and blue décor, bouncing along the pavement with Captain America holding on and waving.
It was a great day for celebrating a birthday, our country's birthday Number 240.
The park grounds were filled with residents and from many new faces from towns around. It was July 3 and their celebrations were set for Monday, the following day.
Palaia had rides for kids, chances for all interested and food for all taste buds, it was a busy place.
The music was by After the Reign, a country and soft rock group well known in the area. They kept every one smiling, some stepping to the songs, and singing or humming along.
At 8-ish Mayor Chris Siciliano welcomed all. He announced the 240th . Just a message to enjoy the day and remember those who have made it possible, our Founding Fathers and all our veterans, and the memories who gave the eternal sacrifice.
At nine the first rocket whistled through the air signaling a Happy Independence Day to all in attendance.