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Rain cant slow July Fourth steam engine parade in Cumming
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CUMMING — Despite the threat of rain Saturday, the 58th annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade rolled through downtown Cumming under an overcast sky and muggy conditions.

Heavy showers passed through the area earlier in the morning, and a drizzle returned near the end of the patriotic procession, but organizers were able to get the parade in.

The Independence Day tradition, which features floats from local veterans groups, nonprofits, churches and businesses, began at Forsyth Central High School and continued down Tribble Gap Road, ending at the Cumming Fairgrounds off Castleberry Road.

What makes the parade unique are the steam engines, a tribute to the county’s agrarian history.

The engines, which date to the late 1800s and early 1900s, blow their piercing whistles — and smoke — along the parade route and are a popular draw for families, especially those with young children.

And while the weather may have affected attendance this year, it also kept the temperature down, a refreshing change for many parade-goers

Allison McCreary came with husband Grant and 3-year-old son Carter. They were positioned near end of the route at the fairgrounds, where she said her son was excited to see the trains and trucks.

The main motivation for the family, however, was to watch daughter Cecelia march with her group from World Champion Taekwondo. They had never been to the parade before.

“This is her first time in the parade, so we wanted to come see it,” McCreary said.

Nearby, Jennifer Warner and her sons had come to the parade for the sixth year in a row. Warner said it has become a tradition for the family, which moved to Forsyth County in 2010.

“It’s Fourth of July and we’re celebrating America,” Warner said. “It’s a good old-fashioned American Fourth of July parade, and we love it.”

Her sons — Brooks, 7, and Callaway, 5 — agreed their favorite part is catching candy from the floats and trucks on the route.

“The older they get, the more candy they like,” Warner said. 

The parade followed Cumming’s annual fireworks show on Friday night, which drew thousands of people to the fairgrounds and various vantage points around town.

It, too, was a beneficiary of a break in the weather. After rain much of the morning Friday, the skies cleared in the afternoon and the fireworks went off under breezy, cool conditions.