LINTON, Ind. (WTHI) – A parade rolled through the streets of Linton Friday as the city continued its week long Freedom Festival, climaxing on America’s day of Independence. More than 160 entrants rolled, and walked the town’s main thoroughfare. About 85 per cent of those entrants were Greene County locals, parade organizers explained, which would pail in comparison to the number of spectators estimated to attend the event.
“We estimate each parade day somewhere between 30 and 40,000 people,” said Cheryl Hamilton, Director of the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce. In comparison, Hamilton stated, Linton’s city population hovers around 6,000 people. For perspective, Greene County, which is home to Linton, has a population of 32,000, according to the United States Census Bureau.
A sunny, almost fall like morning welcomed droves of people along the highway, clad in Red, White and Blue. The parade which started at 10 am, was scheduled to continue through noon.
Event organizers explained the parade and festival were not turn key. Lots of business and home owners spent a great deal of time making the city a premier spot for the Holiday weekend.
“Our businesses have been washing windows, cleaning downtown for a week, or more,” said Hamilton.
While its near impossible to put an exact dollar figure the swelling weekend population brings to Linton, Hamilton explained for many of Linton’s storefronts, the revenue generated produces a Christmas in July.
“My grocers tell me this will sometimes exceed my Christmas holidays in sales,” said Hamilton, “This is one of our biggest days in town.”
Aside from the generation of revenue, the parade showcased some of Greene County’s most well known faces. Among them, Jjackson the military dog, which was adopted by Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy Harvey Holt. Chip Sweet, the retiring coach of the newly crowned state champion Shakamak baseball team also walked alongside his players.