The Independence Day celebration Thursday at Fisher Fountain offered just about everything one might see at a backyard Fourth of July party, providing amusement and enjoyment for all ages.
Kids got to tumble down an inflatable slide and play yard games like a ball and ring toss, while adults enjoyed the food and watching children having a good time.
But the main event was the Adams County YWCA’s annual children’s parade around Fisher Fountain at noon.
Several hundred people watched as hundreds of kids — with a few adults and dogs — rode around the fountain in strollers and on scooters, bikes and wagons. But no matter how they got around, most were adorned with red, white and blue decorations.
The kids marched to the cadence of the Hastings High School band’s drumline, standing next to Fisher Fountain, and were led by the Kool-Aid Man and Buster, the Hastings Sodbusters mascot.
Laura Stutte, YWCA executive director, also led the parade with her husband, Mayor Corey Stutte, and their 2-year old daughter, Lila.
Laura said the parade gives kids the chance to celebrate the Fourth of July during the day, before the night’s fireworks.
People from other towns attended, as well, including the Maul family from Santa Rosa, California. They made the 27-hour trek to visit family in Hastings and had their kids Hudson, 9,=, and Nolan, 5, join the parade.
“This is our first time in the parade,” said Katie Maul.
The YWCA also held a raffle, with the chance to win anything from a scooter, tickets to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and food.
Before the parade began, Ciara Figgins of Ayr sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
At night, the celebration in Hastings continued with a fireworks show put on by the Hastings Volunteer Fire Department at Brickyard Park.
The Bases Loaded Band, a musical group from Kearney, provided music prior to the shooting of fireworks.