China Grove plans Fourth’ parade

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 21, 2010

The bad news is that there will be no Parade in China Grove on the Fourth of July this year.

The good news is that the China Grove Fourth of July Parade will, instead, be on Saturday, July 3, in the usually sleepy, little community in Northern Pike County.

“Because the Fourth of July is on Sunday this year, we will have the annual China Grove Fourth of July parade on Saturday, July 3,” said Diane LaFountaine, event publicity chair. “This will be our 11th Fourth of July Parade and this is the second time that the Fourth has been on Sunday. The last time, we celebrated on July 3 and had a great crowd. We expect another great crowd this year.”

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The China Grove Parade is the same “small town, downtown” parade that has become Fourth of July tradition for hundreds of people from near and far.

“It’s still a simple, fun parade and we invite everyone to decorate a ride or grab one,” LaFountaine said. “We’ll have just about anything on parade — tricycles, bicycles, antique cars, tractors, wagons, mules, horses, riding lawnmowers, go-carts, golf carts, motorcycles, four-wheelers, pedestrians and even floats.”

Half the fun of the China Grove Fourth of July Parade is being in it. The other half is watching it.

The parade gets under way at 10 a.m. with lineup on both the Lockheed Martin and Needmore roads.

Roadside viewing areas are all along the Lockheed Martin Road leading into China Grove and in downtown China Grove.

A lot of people put chairs in the back of their trucks, others sit on the hoods of their cars, others bring lawn chairs and others are too excited to even sit down.

But you don’t want to get too far from the road because, at China Grove, it’s still all right to throw candy.

Free cold, sliced watermelon will be available immediately following the parade.

“Some people bring blankets and spread picnics after the parade,” LaFountaine said. “Others enjoy the food that we have available in the ‘downtown’ viewing area. The Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department will have a variety of festival-foods for sale. Hotdogs will be a dollar, hamburgers two dollars, barbecued chicken plates six dollars and a rib plate seven dollars. Those who want to take home some of the best meat right off the grill can get Boston butts for $20 each and a rack of ribs for only $15.”

LaFountaine said many people stay around China Grove after the parade to have lunch and visit with friends and neighbors and enjoy an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration.

“There’s nothing fancy about the China Grove Parade but, if you want to experience the Fourth of July in much the way it was celebrated in the “good ol’ days,’ then China Grove is where you’ll want to be on Saturday, July 3,” LaFountaine said.

For more information, call 334-584-7392.