Flags, freedom and fireworks

The Fourth of July brings the country together and it brought people of all walks of life to the Central Iowa Fairgrounds for the Marshalltown celebration.

There was a wide range of ages taking in the entertainment and wearing red, white and blue prior to the fireworks display.

Among the youngest were twin 11-month-old brothers Owen and Wyatt Walters, of Marshalltown, who wore matching “USA” T-shirts to show their patriotism.

“It’s their first Fourth of July,” said their mother, Kayla Walters.

While the twins were taking in the attention, their two older brothers enjoyed the inflatable slide at the fairgrounds as part of the free children’s events.

“They are having fun,” Kayla Walters said.

Musical entertainment also took place on the bandshell prior to the fireworks.

“I’m just happy with the way the weather turned out,” said event chair Denny Grabenbauer. “We have a good crowd on hand.”

Grabenbauer said the weather was more ideal for events during the day this year compared to 2012 when the heat was stifling.

Even with the more mild temperatures, it was still good weather to be selling ice cream, said Bryton Griggs, who was working at the North Third Avenue Dairy Queen booth at the fairgrounds.

“We are selling quite a lot of Dilly Bars,” Griggs said.

The 30-minute fireworks show featuring $15,000 worth of fireworks was put on by J&M Displays, of Walcott.

Grabenbauer has been instrumental in raising funds for the show for several years, but is now stepping down and looking for a replacement to chair the celebration for next year.