Turnout was even better than expected.
Before marching along the Kingsville Independence Day Parade route, a group of more than 100 people gathered to show their support for Whitney Sibol, a 23-year-old Kingsville native who suffered a life-threatening swimming accident last month.
Sibol was run over by a power boat in the Bird River on June 3, leaving her severely injured and fighting for her life. Weeks and several surgeries later, she returned home to Kingsville on Wednesday, where she will continue to undergo extensive physical and occupational therapy, her mother, Judy Sibol, said.
The parade march in Whitney Sibol's honor was organized by the Kingsville Recreation and Parks Council, with support from recreation teams from the Perry Hall, White Marsh and Chase areas.
"It's such a great family and a great cause," said organizer Ken West, while marching along Bradshaw Road. "Whitney's a fighter."
Whitney Sibol played softball on a Kinsgville rec team and her mother served as president of the council for several years.
Parade marchers held a banner and handed out fliers with information on the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, which helped save Whitney Sibol's life immediately following the accident. Fliers included instructions on a fundraiser to support nursing education programs at the hospital.
"I'm here for Whitney. We used to play softball together," said Emily Breidenbaugh.
Kim Schmid added, "We played in the same league—you take care of your own."
Council volunteer Jim Frank said he hoped the march would help strengthen Whitney Sibol through her recovery.
"This is one of the best parts of a small community like Kingsville is that people still care about each other," Frank said.
Tell us about your favorite part of the parade in the comments.