Enon parade: Memories made as participants, crowd ‘weathered the storm’

In Enon on July 4 at 2 p.m., the weather forecast predicted “light rain,” but it was a little bit off.

“We started walking and it just dumped,” said Enon/Mad River Township Fire Chief John Heath as he described the 2024 Enon Independence Day Parade, which took place during a downpour.

When the parade began, the heavens opened. There had been parades in rain before, but that had just been a drizzle. The 2024 Enon parade was in a deluge.

What did they do? They just kept walking. Led by an honor guard from Wright-Patterson, the parade went on as scheduled.

“They were troopers,” said Heath.

“I’d rather be walking in the rain so people could enjoy it,” he said. “We do all in our power as long as it’s not a safety problem.”

There was no lightning, so, like a football or soccer game, the parade went on.

Heath said that the crowd stuck with them and “weathered the storm.”

When the parade went past Denise Bockleman’s house on Xenia Drive, she was busy snapping photos.

“I’ve lived here since 1997 and I’ve never seen a parade in the rain. There were hundreds of umbrellas, and they were still throwing candy,” she said.

Some candy was retrieved, but the rest dissolved when it hit the wet pavement.

According to Bockleman, people walking or on the floats were all laughing. Some had umbrellas and others were just soaked with big smiles on their faces.

“It was fun,” she said.

For the second year, two groups of Jeep owners, The Jeep Lifestyle and Midwest Ohio Jeepers Organization LLC (MOJO), had their patriotically decorated Jeeps in the parade. They threw rubber ducks into the crowds in addition to candy. Yellow rubber ducks seemed particularly appropriate this year.

“I live in Enon, grew up here and was with the Enon EMS from 1994 to 1999 before becoming a teacher (in Dayton), so I did a little more for my community. This event means a lot to me,” said Dedee Menda, who helped to organize the Jeep group.

HW Mann and Sons Hauling Service trucks were in the parade and posted photos and comments on Facebook: “We had the pleasure of being soaked to pass out candy and Frisbees in the Village of Enon parade!”

The First Mad River Light Artillery had their cannon in the parade and on the float, accompanied by Revolutionary War soldiers. I hear the cannon did well in the rain, but the wool uniforms may take awhile to dry out.

After the parade, the community was treated to hot dogs and a picnic at the firehouse. According to the chief, the group was about the same size as a dry sunny day, although some folks were a bit soaked.

Enon always has enthusiastic parades, but this one will be remembered for a long time.

About the Author