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Brundidge rolls out carpet

for patriotic weekend

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

Brundidge is rolling out the red, white and blue carpet and everyone is invited to town Friday and Saturday for the community’s Independence Day weekend celebration.

The patriotic activities will officially get underway with the "Salute to Veterans" program Friday at 7 p.m. at the Knox Ryals Pavilion on the grounds of the historic Bass House.

However, everyone is invited to come around 6 p.m. and enjoy a picnic supper of hotdogs, chips, homemade cake and soft drinks and the fellowship of friends and neighbors.

All veterans are encouraged to attend the program, which is held in their honor.

Randy Ross, veterans service officer for Pike County, said all veterans will be recognized and tribute will be paid to deceased veterans with the placing of a memorial wreath at the veterans’ memorial site.

The 30-minute program will feature patriotic music by Perfect Harmony, special recognitions, and a "Soldier’s Moment" by Veteran John W. "Billy" Gibson.

"We will conclude the patriotic program, as we did last year, with a candlelight service honoring those who have served in our military and those who are serving," Ross said. "Veterans or members of their families will be invited to light a candle in their honor or memory. The program will close with John Wayne’s ‘Taps’ and a reading of ‘In Flander’s Field.’ It should be a very impressive and moving ceremony."

Ross said because the program honors veterans and the greatest country on earth, everyone is asked to be respectful of both during the program.

Then, let the fun begin when the curtain goes up on a USO Show, Alabama style.

"Last year we had a great USO show and this year will be even better," Ross said.

Headliners Bob Hope, Minnie Pearl and Dolly Parton will join local celebrities in bringing top quality entertainment to the stage.

Dan Fraley, Joyce Dix, Perfect Harmony and the Dixie Cut-ups, a barbershop quartet,

will be featured along with Miss Brundidge Andrea Domizio.

"It’s going to be a great show and a lot of fun, so we invite everyone to stay for the USO show," Ross said. "The show should be over around 8 o’clock because we want everyone to get home early so they can be back in Brundidge Saturday morning for the annual Independence Day Parade."

The parade will get underway at 9 a.m. and follow a Main Street route from north to south.

Lineup is set for 8 a.m. at the Wendell Taylor National Guard Armory on Highway 231 South in Brundidge.

Rue Botts, chairperson for the parade committee, said everything is looking good for the parade.

"We have 120 entries, including 15 floats," she said. "We have variety of other entries that will make the parade a lot of fun for all ages. Something new we have added is year is patriotic music in the downtown area. The music will add a lot

to the parade."

The committee is also asking motorists to tune their radios in to WTBF FM 94.7 or AM 970, where the station will be playing patriotic music throughout the morning.

"By doing so, everyone will be able to enjoy the parade to music," Botts said.

Immediately following the parade, there will be entertainment at the Knox Ryals Pavilion.

Two popular gospel groups, the Jerry Wilkerson Family and Heaven’s Gates will perform and those who enjoy gospel music will not want to miss a minute of it. Seating will be available but those who desire the comfort of lawn chairs might want to consider bringing theirs along.

Hotdogs and hamburgers will be available for those who wish to picnic on the grounds. So, what better way to celebrate Independence Day weekend than in Brundidge.

"And, of course, we invite everyone to stroll Main Street and visit our shops," Botts said. "We’d just like for everybody stop by so we can say how glad we are to have them in Brundidge."

In Brundidge tradition, there is no admission charge for any of the events, only for the food.

In cases of rain, the "Salute to Veterans" will be held a the Wendell Taylor National Guard Armory on Highway 231.

The "Salute" is sponsored by the Pike County Veterans Affairs Office, with assistance from the City of Brundidge. The parade is an annual event of the Brundidge Business Association.