Pequot Avenue was awash in a tide of red, white and blue Sunday morning, making its way from the center of Southport Village to the Pequot Library in the 8th annual Fourth of July parade sponsored by the landmark library.

Organizers estimated that about 500 patriotic adults and children pedaled, pulled and pushed their way along the parade route in decorated bicycles, scooters, strollers, wagons and skateboards. The Puff-Mobile also was featured in the line of march, carrying the library's reading mascot, a rabbit named Belle, who replaced the beloved Puff in 2008. Dogs in the parade were also aplenty, including Lewis, a 3-year-old Newfoundland owned by the Bobarski family of Westport.

"This is a fun way to celebrate our nation's history and our nation's birth," said Anne Bobarski, who was accompanied by her husband David. He pulled sons Will, 3, and Owen, 1, in a red wagon to which they affixed an American flag.

"We like that this is a small town New England Fourth of July. The kids were excited to decorate their bikes. We came last year. We like to make this a family tradition," said Robin Charron of Fairfield, who was joined by about a dozen family members representing three generations.

"Are you ready to put your pedal to the metal?," Susanna Swartley asked her niece, three-year-old Susanna Charron, Robin's daughter, just as the parade was about to begin.

The start time was delayed slightly when one police officer decided the parade could only travel down one side of Pequot Avenue. "It's crazy they can't close the road for 15 minutes a year so kids can celebrate the Fourth of July," said Kelly Kernaghan of Fairfield, who said he has attended the event with his three children and some neighbors and their children since the parade started almost a decade ago.

Police finally allowed the parade to proceed traveling in both lanes of Pequot Avenue.

Ava Lannigan, 4, of Easton, was disappointed she had to abandon her bike near the end of the route when it developed a flat tire. She had red, white and blue streamers trailing from her bike's training wheels and she wore a patriotic tiara.

On the library's front lawn Ava's sister Grace Lannigan, 6, won one of the sack races. Other old-fashioned activities included a hula hoop competition and water balloon toss.

Karen Lannigan, the girls' mother, said the library's July Fourth celebration was a great alternative to other traditional activities. "We can't do fireworks because it's too loud and too late," she said.

Brian Capitelli, of New Orleans, who is in Fairfield visiting family, said the parade was different from the spectacles his family is used to in Louisiana, but no less enjoyable. Of his 15-month-old daughter Lena, he said, "She enjoyed the parade even though there were no beads."

Zachery Evans, 8, of Fairfield, really got into the spirit of the event. He had his hair painted in three stripes of red, white and blue, and during the parade he wore an Uncle Sam-styled cardboard hat. "This is better than school because it's fun," said Zachery, who asked his mom if July 4th is Uncle Sam's birthday.

A Revolutionary Quiz, designed to test families' knowledge of America's early history, asked 21 questions, which ranged from the easy -- How many red stripes are on an American flag? -- to the difficult -- Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, who refused to sign the U.S. Constitution?

Connie Crowley of Westport said some of the questions were tricky. Manisha Mehta of Fairfield said she liked the concept of the quiz and the fact that it encouraged families to work on it together. "It's a fun way to teach something about our country and the significance of the Fourth of July," Mehta said.

The winner of the Revolutionary Quiz will be announced at the library later this week. The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to use at the library's 50th anniversary Book Sale on July 23-27.

"This is one of the few places where kids from different schools, different churches and backgrounds back grounds can come together and participate in a community event," said Daniel Snydacker, the Pequot Library's executive director.