Friday, July 07, 2006

"Freedom Isn't Free" - Our 4th of July Parade

Loganville, Georgia, my hometown, had its first-ever Fourth of July parade on Tuesday. It was a smashing SUCCESS!!!!! The Parade Committee couldn't be prouder and more excited of how well it turned out - it exceeded our wildest hopes! The Loganville Tribune wrote about it in today's paper[any bolding and italics mine for emphasis]:

First-ever parade deemed a success

Sharon Swanepoel
The Loganville Tribune
Published July 7, 2006
LOGANVILLE — Any fears that people weren’t up for a Fourth of July parade in Loganville were washed away in a sea of red, white and blue Tuesday when thousands turned out for the much anticipated event. “(Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman) Charles Bannister said he believed there were probably somewhere between 5,000 to 8,000 people in attendance,” said Councilman Chuck Bagley, who was involved with the parade organization. “It was one of the few times where an event exceeds the anticipation. I have heard people say it was the biggest parade ever held in Loganville.
The streets were lined, sometimes three deep, with people cheering on participants in the nearly hour-long parade down Main Street.“There are two things that touched me the most,” said parade chairman Patrick Fenneran. “First of all, the community. It was amazing to see the thousands of people who came out to support the first annual parade. The second thing was how the community honored our soldiers and veterans with standing ovations. What a great way to show that Loganville cares.”
The family of fallen Loganville soldier Sgt. Michael Stokely was Grand Marshall of the parade and a riderless horse also took part as a tribute to all fallen soldiers. Stokely’s father said the event might have been the first ever Fourth of July Parade in Loganville, but it was planned, organized and brought off like one with personnel with years of experience.“I want to thank the parade committee for letting our family be part of this wonderful event and walk with Mike’s fellow soldiers,” Robert Stokely said in correspondence to the committee. “We were so honored to be there to represent Mike and to remember him.”
The parade corporate sponsors, Mark and Susie Myers, rode in a car in front of a tank constructed by the Myers Team for the corporate float.“We were very happy to be a sponsor of this event and will definitely do it again,” Myers said. “But if the event gets any bigger in the future, I don’t know where they will put everybody.”Myers had also performed at the concert that followed at Southern Plantations and said the event too was well attended.“Of course it was extremely hot,” Myers said. “But I think everybody who attended the concert enjoyed it. They are also going to make it an annual event.”
* * *
In all, the general consensus appeared to be that Walton County did a great job of providing entertainment to keep residents at home this Fourth of July. Other than a small grass fire at the fireworks display and some minor over-heating incidents at the parade, most of the festivities went off with few hitches according to organizers.
But organizers of the parade said they are not sitting back on their laurels. They are already working on the theme for next year’s Fourth of July Parade in Loganville.


Georgia Blogger