July 4, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Metro Detroiters show off red, white, blue pride at Fourth celebrations

Metro Detroiters painted the town red — and white and blue — Friday.

Temperatures in the mid-70s and mostly sunny skies made a perfect day for it.

From Clawson to Ypsilanti, communities celebrated the United States’ 238th birthday with festivals, food and fireworks.

And of course there were parades, steeped in tradition.

Clawson’s parade goes back to 1932 and draws more than 15,000 every year. A highlight of the parade’s festival is a “water battle,” a sort of tug-of-war between Clawson and Troy firefighters.

Marty Caron and his family were among the patriotic partygoers at the parade. He said the Fourth of July is one of his favorite holidays.

“To me, it just means summertime,” he said. “It’s the best time of the year, especially if you live in Michigan.”

Across town, the community of Gibraltar in southeast Wayne County celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Fourth of July Parade on Friday.

This year’s parade featured about 62 floats. Jim Kuerber, 91, whose wife, Betty, founded the parade in 1964, served as the grand marshal.

Northville’s parade, meanwhile, honored military veterans, police, firefighters, medical professionals and sports stars with its “Celebrating America's Heroes” theme. Since 1999, the Northville Community Foundation has hosted the parade.

— Charles E. Ramirez

Jim Koerber, 91, of Gibraltar, was the grand marshal in the 50th annual Gibraltar Fourth of July Parade and Celebration on Friday. / Todd McInturf / The Detroit News