EDMOND — American flags of all sizes will be waving Thursday in downtown Edmond as an expected 50,000 people enjoy the Fourth of July LibertyFest Parade.
Retired astronaut John B. Herrington will be parade grand marshal. He retired from the U.S. Navy and NASA in October 2005 after logging more than 330 hours in space. He also logged more than 4,500 flight hours in more than 30 types of aircraft.
This is the 41st year for LibertyFest.
The 1.5-mile parade starts at Ayers Street and University Drive and heads west to Broadway, south to Second Street, east to University and back to Ayers. Streets along the parade route will close at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
This year's theme for LibertyFest is a Hometown Fourth of July. Charles and Jerry James are event chairmen.
Edmond's LibertyFest was selected as one of the top 10 places to be in America on July Fourth by CNN and USA Today.
The 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse, owned by the Edmond Historic Preservation Trust, will be open for tours and will serve as a place to watch the parade. The schoolhouse is at 124 E Second St.
“Picnic tables in the backyard are available for resting in the shade,” organizer Beverly Terry said. “We will allow bell ringing during the parade.”
Some parking in downtown Edmond has been affected. People with questions can download a map of public parking at www.libertyfest.org.
Miss LibertyFest Veronica Wisniewski and Miss LibertyFest Teen Joei Whisenant were named during the 2013 Miss LibertyFest Pageant.
LibertyFest activities wrap up with ParkFest and fireworks at UCO, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with free watermelon, music, games, contests and family entertainment.
The fireworks are expected to begin around 10 p.m. Spectators are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair.