TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Before the night's big blast, Topeka neighbors took time to have a blast together.
Several communities held parades Thursday, each with their own unique spirit.
A rendition of the Star Spangled Banner on kazoos, along with cars and plenty of candy, brought Fourth of July fun to the Potwin neighborhood.
While kids showed off their patriotic pedal power by decorating their bicycles for the occasion, the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office mounted posse joined in with horse power, riding their mounts through the streets. Sheriff Herman Jones also walked the parade route, handing out candy.
"It's about being an American and being patriotic and having independence," Jones said. "That means so much."
Collins Park struck up the band for its Independence Day celebrations. Cars of all ages and sizes rode through the streets, with the younger set bringing out their battery-powered ride-on vehicles. One young man dressed as Uncle Sam to join his family in tossing candy.
At Sherwood's parade, one group earned its 10th straight grand champion float title with a likeness of Abraham Lincoln and a candy-firing cannon. After the parade, folks lined up lakeside for a community barbecue. Of course, the traditional hot dogs made the menu!
Church bells gave way to drum beats as the College Hill neighborhood showed off its red white and blue best.
Neighborhood Association President Brendan Jensen said the 4th is among the biggest holidays for their community. He says they love to organize events like Thursday's parade so neighbors get to know each other and make friends.
Even the animals dressed up for the occasion on a day College Hill VIP, Washburn President Jerry Farley, says shows America at its best.
"Regardless of our opinions and differences, we can come together to celebrate this great nation," he said.