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Weather, crowds kind to holiday
The 52nd annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade rolled through Cumming on Saturday. Will Logan, 3, got a better vantage point from atop the shoulders of his mother, Sherry. - photo by Jennifer Sami


* More images from the parade.

* Friday night's fireworks show.

* More scenes from Friday.

Whether 45,000 or 55,000 people attended the local July Fourth festivities wasn't what mattered to Dave Horton, Cumming Fairgrounds administrator.

What did matter was that everyone who attended the July 3 fireworks show and the next day's steam engine parade had a fun, safe time.

“We had a lot of people saying that they were the best fireworks they have ever seen,” Horton said. “I talked with a couple people on the engines and they said it was packed all the way up town.

“When you put that many people together at one time and not have any problems, that’s a good [day].”

While there was a long line of cars trying to leave the event Friday night, Horton said the traffic jams cleared in about 45 minutes.

Saturday morning, about two dozen steam engines made their way along Castleberry Road toward the fairgrounds, followed by a slew of tractors, cars, floats, cheerleaders and other groups.

There was no shortage of participants in the parade, though there may have been fewer politicians. Only a handful of candidates traveled along the route, shaking hands and tossing candy.

“The parade might have been just a little shorter than normal," said Horton. “Last year was an election year, so you had 25 or 30 politicians in there that weren’t there this year.”

Horton said the weather was “probably the best weather we’ve ever had.”

Gerald Blackburn, city administrator, said the temperature during both events was warm but not humid, “which allowed everybody to enjoy it more.”

“Everyone seemed to have a good time,” Blackburn said. “I always have a good time at the parade.”