CUMMING — Families filled the sidewalks of Cumming July Fourth for the 57th Annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade.
The parade, a Forsyth County Independence Day tradition, features local businesses and veterans, nonprofits and church groups in a procession that winds from Forsyth Central High School, down Tribble Gap Road to the Cumming Fairgrounds.
The biggest draw, however, are the 15 to 20 antique steam engines, which roll through town blowing their steam whistles, honoring the agrarian history of the area. Dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, the engines were originally used in agriculture and lumber businesses.
The lumbering machines are popular with families, especially those with young children.
Gene Hunter brought sons Logan, 4, and Noah, 3, who were excited to see the engines because of their fascination with trains.
“They wanted to see the trains. That’s why we’re here,” Hunter said.
They moved to Forsyth County a few months ago from Roswell, and this was their first time at Cumming’s parade.
“This is something new for us. We’re looking forward to it,” Hunter said.
Luke Stephan, another local parent, brought 3-year-old son Maddox, who also wanted to go to the parade to see the engines.
The parade, he said, is part of their holiday tradition.
“We went to the fireworks, then we go to the parade and usually spend [the day] on [Lake Lanier] if we can,” Stephan said.
Hours earlier, a crowd of thousands gathered to take in Cumming’s annual fireworks show.
Many returned, armed with ear plugs and water bottles, for the patriotic parade under sunny skies and a high temperature near 90 degrees.