The parade kicked off precisely at 10:00, but people started lining the route as early as 8:00 in the morning in order to reserve their spots.
Some of those coming at the last minute found themselves missing out on curb side seating, despite the fact that the route spanned much of Claremont and Main Streets. At some places observers were seated a good 20 feet back from the road.
"It's exciting to see so many people coming out," said Linda Swanson. "I'm, of course, looking forward to seeing the Clydesdales."
The Clydesdales certainly were a hit; to the point of receiving a standing ovation as they pulled out onto Claremont Avenue.
"We are excited to be back in town for the celebrations. We are glad we could be here for it."
Richie's daughters, Celeste and Raina, had their own favorites in mind though. I'm looking forward to the cool floats," said Celeste. Raina said her affections were more for the motorcycles.
But opinions were as wide as the crowd was diverse.
Three year old Emily Jackson sat at the edge of her stroller as she awaited the parade's commencement. "I like the army trucks," she said with brimming anticipation.
Her mother and father, Lisa and Todd, explained that they knew Dan Bicker, who would be driving one of the green vehicles.
The vast number of participants in the procession was certainly a testimony to that very fact. Floats carried princesses, queens, superheros, and fairy tale characters.
Quite a few of the floats had particular creativity. One featured a live reenactment of the Marine Corps War Memorial raising of the flag at Iwo Jima.
Others, such as the balloon laced marchers of National Latex, demonstrated a lighter flare.
Sue Timmons noted that the last time Ashland had a parade of this magnitude was 39 years ago when Ashland joined in the 1976 celebration of the nation's bicentennial.
The parade's magnitude is marked by the fact that it lasted approximately an hour and a half in length.
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