Sopchoppy, Florida - July 4, 2012 -
The City of Sopchoppy celebrated the Fourth of July with their annual parade. Tropical Storm Debby, and the damage the storm caused, still weighed heavy on area residents that lined the streets.
The crowds, marchers, and floats in the Sopchoppy Independence Day Parade proved that a community can pull together after taking a major hit.
"Everyone is eager about rebuilding and staying right here in the city of Sopchoppy, so that we can, you know, move forward," said Colleen Skipper-Mitchell, the mayor of Sopchoppy.
Tropical Storm Debby wreaked havoc on this small community. People lining the parade route said they were happy to have something to celebrate.
"It was terrible. We were out of power. We were out of everything. It was terrible," said Ginger Harrell, a Crawfordville resident.
"It was like a curve ball being thrown at us. So, we all need to come together and have a good time and show that the weather can't knock us down," said Kendall Miller, a Panacea resident.
And a good time it was. Nearly every float threw candy to the crowds. Kids were ready with bags in hand. Still, the meaning behind the day was not lost on even the youngest of spectators.
"I love it. It really moves me, cause it's Independence Day. And I just really like it," said one young parade goer named Brooklyn.
"The spirits of the city are great. Everyone is just, you know, really enthusiastic about the parade. And it was great and we've had a good time. I think we had a really great time today," said Skipper-Mitchell.