LEWISBURG — American flags fluttered in the wind, cars and trucks beeped and music played on Saturday during a pop-up parade to honor veterans in Lewisburg.

The Union County Veterans' 4th of July Parade Committee canceled its annual parade due to COVID-19, but a group named Union County Coronavirus Protest organized the “Support Our Veterans Driving/Walking Parade.” The event brought out a few dozen participants to drive or walk through downtown Lewisburg along Market Street between 10 a.m. and 12 noon.

"Look how beautiful this is," said Marylynn Hibbert, owner of the Lewisburg Delicatessan, as she stood outside her eatery watching the parade. "We need a little celebration right now."

Members of the American Legion in Mifflinburg set up flags from the military and POW-MIA flags.

"We're out supporting our veterans," said Legion member Troy Zimmerman, of Mifflinburg. "It's a shame the parade had to be called off. We understand why, but we still wanted to fly the flags and let the veterans know we support them."

Marlin Hauer, 68, of Lewisburg, was invited into a truck with Billy Allred, vice chair of the Union County Republican Committee. Hauer played the coronet as the parade circled around Market Street, playing taps and other patriotic songs.

"It's very nice what they're doing," said Hauer, a veteran of the Vietnam War era, said

He said he understands the dangers of the virus, having family members in the health care field.

"But I'm not afraid," he said. "I respect it, but we shouldn't stop living. We do need to be careful."

The Snyder family joined the parade, walking on Market Street with American flags.

"We're supporting our veterans," said Patricia Snyder, of Lewisburg, who came out with her four children and her mother. "We love our country and the people who have fought for it."

The event, which was not associated with the Union County Veterans' 4th of July Parade Committee, started at the corner of Seventh and St. George streets and continued in a clockwise square from Seventh Street to Market Street to Third Street to St. George Street and back to Seventh Street.

It is unclear how many vehicles and people were participating since there was no registration or sign up sheets. Organizers said at least 75 people were involved. 

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