LINTON, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The City of Linton, Ind., is celebrating the Fourth of July holiday this week with the Linton Freedom Festival, which will culminate on Monday, July 5, with a large parade.

The festivities started on June 26 with a car show and the Linton Farmers Market taking place Humphreys Park. Activities have continued throughout the week so far with a carnival and band performances.

On parade day, thousands of families and friends lined the streets of downtown Linton for the annual Linton Freedom Festival Parade. Jennie Sellers who has marched in past parades has been attending the event for the last 40 years. She says for her family that this parade is a tradition.

“It’s the oldest parade in the state,” Sellers said. “To be here with my aunt, my daughter, my grandkids and my mama. It’s the greatest.”

After being cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce was eager to bring the parade back.

“People were anxious to get out and even with it being a Monday we didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know if that would hurt our crowd,” Cheryl Hamilton, executive director for Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce said. “We had a fabulous crowd today. When I looked in the streets it was packed and that’s what we like to see.”

Children were filled with smiles and excitement as they were handed candy from those in the parade but adults also had their favorite moments as well.

“I love the traveling wall. It was amazing,” Sellers said.

The Chamber of Commerce believed it was important to highlight the individuals who were on the frontlines of the pandemic.

“Each year we recognize what we call the freedom festival hall of fame and when that discussion happened this year, it went to the healthcare workers. It went to first responders,” Hamilton said. “Those people just had a lot of struggles last year. A lot of people put in hours but they had to be hands on in front of everything.”

The carnival at Humphreys Park will continue through July 5, with a flyover and fireworks show happening July 3. The festival will then culminate on July 5 with a 10 a.m. parade in downtown Linton. The parade is described by festival organizers as “Indiana’s largest Independence Day parade.”

For a full schedule, view the full festival itinerary here.