Julie Brown sat on the curb at the corner of Martin and Queen streets Saturday afternoon, camera at the ready.
She was waiting for the Martinsburg High School Marching Band to pass the corner during the 32nd edition of the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival parade, which featured more than 180 units.
As Rachel Brown, a 15-year-old saxophonist in the band, made the turn with the band, Julie stood up, leaned forward and snapped a photo that was sure to be a candidate for the Brown family album.
The parade, one of the highlights of the city's annual four-day event, started at 1 p.m. It wound its way through the downtown historic district on Raleigh, Martin and Queen streets, and ended at Martinsburg High School more than three hours later.
Sidewalks on all of the streets along the route were jammed with spectators, many of whom set out chairs at favorite viewing spots hours before the first units passed by.
Donnie Marshall, his two children and mother-in-law staked out their spot on the south side of King Street near the intersection with Winchester Avenue around 11:30 a.m.
Marshall, 31; his daughter, Ella Grace, 3; and son, Wyatt Blake, 1, along with mother-in-law and grandmother, Debbie Hammond, sat braced against the chilling wind wrapped in blankets.
"I've only missed one parade in my entire life," Donnie Marshall said. "That was last year. I was out of town.
"I was this guy's age at the first one," he said, patting Wyatt on the head. "He's continuing the family tradition."
Marshall's wife, Crystal, a nurse, had to work Saturday and missed the festivities.
The parade included 11 emergency specialty vehicles from area fire, emergency service, city, county and state police departments. Their total cost was more than $1 million, which was paid for through the philanthropic efforts of former Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith.
Smith won $79 million last year on a Powerball ticket, opted for a $44 million payout and has been generous with his winnings ever since.
All 11 vehicles sported "Thanks Randy Smith" banners.
Applause broke out as the convertible carrying U.S. Army Spc. Uriah Horst, 21, of Martinsburg, passed by every stretch of the parade route.
Horst is recovering from life-threatening wounds he received in a rocket attack in Afghanistan in July.
More than a dozen princesses and queens, wearing titles including Tiny, Little, Junior, Teen and Miss, rode in convertibles and floats giving the "queen's wave" to spectators.
Preceding the float carrying Kaitlin Paige Wagoner, who was crowned Queen Pomona XXXII Friday night, were members of her court who, in elegant red gowns, graced their own long float.
Parade celebrities included Grand Marshal Lisa LoCicero of television's "General Hospital," former NFL player Anthony Becht and Miss West Virginia, Spenser Wempe of Jefferson County.
Earlier Saturday, hundreds of runners participated in the annual Apple Trample 5K run, which began at City Hospital and ended at Martinsburg High School.
Not part of the parade, but taking advantage of Saturday's crowd, were around 50 protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
They stood on both sides of King Street and the city square with signs carrying messages such as "This is the first time I've felt hopeful in a long time," "Curb obese profit taking" and "This country was built by men in denim and will be destroyed by men in suits."
If you go
What: Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival
When: Today, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Berkeley County Youth Fair Grounds, Martinsburg, W.Va.
Cost: Most events are free; some have fees
For a complete schedule of events, go to www.msahf.com.