July 4, 2009

Fireworks light up the harbor

And a few more pictures, just for fun

Those spontaneous cheers and applause on TV? Here's the secret...

And, finally, a few random photos from the parade that just didn't seem to fit in any other category.

Abe and George rode Segways, right after the Harleys

A colorful clown from the McMynn Tower

Horlick cheerleader flashes an enhanced smile

Intense Racine Scout in Drum and Bugle Corps

Theresa Peterson, Lil' Irish Leprechaun

A Baby Boomer Biker

'Drop and give me 20!' Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

Central Bark's mascot rode in the parade

From left, Nicholas Rossi, David Hotchkiss, Ernie Rossi, Chelsea Oscarson
and Marie Hotchkiss in their annual family costume competition

Chef and bartender Gary Gibson dressed
in a hot dog costume; picture sent to us by 'Coolcats'

The parade in pictures...

Racine loves a parade, and is rightly known for hosting one on July 4th that is better than most communities. Here are some pictures from today's three-hour extravaganza, mostly in the order of march in which they appeared.

John Dickert and his wife, Teresa, in his first parade as mayor

Miss Racine, Sha-Nita Rhea

American Legion Boys of '76

Tripoli Motor Corps' hair-raising precision

The Academy of Dance

The Lighthouse Brigade

Re/Max Realty brought a fiery hot air balloon demonstration

Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 767

O&H Bakery's float made us hungry

SC Johnson's float won the Ken Weill Grand Prize Award

Park H.S. Cheerleaders

Bill Reid's Art Car Assn. entry won the Tex Reynolds Award

Rotary's Dragon Boat reminds us of next weekend's festival

Racine Threat football club had a float...

...and here is the Raiders' mascot in action

Kilties played Auld Lang Syne at the home of a former member,
Mike Meredith, who was killed in 1992

Mostly, parades are for kids...

Whether they rode in the parade, as the kids above, or just watched from the sidelines, kids had a great time at Racine's July 4th Parade. Here are some of the smiling faces we spotted along the parade route.

And, yes... parade-watching can take it out of you, too. Nap time!

Plane crashes in Lake Michigan just south of Wind Point Lighthouse

A small airplane went down in Lake Michigan Saturday just south of the Lighthouse about 300 yards East of Shoop Golf Course's parking lot. The accident occured about 1:20 p.m. The pilot was helped off the plane by the Racine County Sheriff Department Boat 1.

The Sheriff later identified the pilot as Christopher D. Stone, 51, of Kenosha. He said he was doing practice landings on Lake Michigan when, on his final landing he believes his port pontoon struck an object in the water, possibly a log, which damaged the pontoon and brought the plane to an instant stop from 70 miles an hour. Stone said he suffered some trauma in the accident, but refused treatment.

When the Sheriff's Water Patrol initially responded to the scene the plane was still under power, operating in a circle, with the left pontoon torn from its mounting brackets on the wing, and the plane listing with that wing in the water. Once the pilot cut the power to the engine, the patrol boat was able to come alongside and take the pilot on board; he was wet from the waist down from water in the plane.

The pilot told deputies that if they could cut the damaged pontoon away from the wing, and attach flotation to it, the plane could be towed to a sand beach. The patrol boat was maneuvered to lift the port wing from the water and an air-filled boat fender was attached to the underside the wing to provide flotation for that side of the plane. The plane was then towed to the beach between North Beach and Zoo Beach and secured.

Photographer Kevin Barz was on the scene and took these dramatic photos of the plane down in the water (top) and the pilot's rescue.

The Sheriff's Department approaches the downed aircraft.

The pilot is pulled safely from the plane.

Dream comes true for bubblewrap poppers

Doug Wick, the owner of Common Scents in the 300 block of Main Street, filled time before the start of the 4th Fest parade with a giant bubblewrap stomp.

Wick brought a 100-foot long roll of bubblewrap into the middle of Main Street, unrolled it to the song "Wipeout" and invited kids and their parents to pop the bubbles. Dozens of people took him up on the offer. Here's some photos:

Getting ready to unroll the bubblewrap ...

The crowd swarms ...

"Pop, pop, pop!"