The Smyrna-Clayton community celebrated Independence Day with a parade in Clayton followed by festivities at George C. Wright Jr. Municipal Park in Smyrna, and then fireworks in front of Smyrna High School and Smyrna Middle School. The events were sponsored by the Smyrna-Clayton July 4th Association.
SEE A PHOTO GALLERY WITH MORE SCENES FROM THE DAY IN THE PHOTOS SECTION THIS MORNING AT 11 A.M.
The parade started at 9:30 a.m., from Clayton Elementary School on School Lane and proceeded east on Main Street, across the railroad tracks, then north on Reed Street, ending at Eagle Group on Industrial Boulevard.
Gov. Jack Markell and Attorney General Beau Biden were among the politicians in the parade who greeted spectators along the route.
One of the features of this year's event was the Dublin All Stars Marching Band, visiting from Ireland.
After the parade, events at Wright Municipal Park in Smyrna included the annual baby contest and dog contest, along with a new event -- a watermelon seed spitting contest. There were demonstrations by Flying Dragon Taekwon Do and the Mid-Atlantic Cherokee Tribe, along with awards to parade participants, and lots of food and refreshments.
Carnival rides and games were another highlight at the park, and the carnival will continue July 5 and 6 from 6 to 10 p.m.
The weather was sunny and warm with a high of about 88 degrees, but there was a breeze most of the day that made conditions pleasant in the shade.
At night, fireworks drew a large crowd to Smyrna High School and Smyrna Middle School as well as a variety of other viewing areas close by.