Jack Davis honored as China Grove Grand Marshal

Published 9:38 pm Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jack Davis of suburban China Grove will be the Grand Marshal of the 11th Annual China Grove Fourth of July Parade.

And there’s nobody who is more deserving, said Diane LaFountaine, a parade organizer.

“Jack doesn’t live in China Grove proper, but he’s here in the community every day, and we couldn’t have a Grand Marshal who is more dedicated to China Grove than Jack. He’s lived in this area all his life, and he’s a community man and a great fellow.”

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Davis raises thoroughbred horses and will more than likely ride one in Saturday’s parade.

“I would be surprised if he doesn’t,” LaFountaine said.

The Fourth of July Parade is being held on July 3 this year because the Fourth falls on Sunday.

“It will be the same fun and exciting parade that it always is,” LaFountaine said. “It will be the Fourth on the Third in China Grove.”

The parade will get under way at 10 a.m. with lineup beginning at 9 a.m. on both the Lockheed Martin and Needmore roads.

The parade will follow a route along Lockheed Martin Road and through downtown China Grove, disbanding at Dean’s Store on the fringe of town.

“As always, we invite those who want to be in the parade to walk, ride, push or pull or hitch a ride,” LaFountaine said.

“It’s a fun parade and it’s ‘anything goes’ as long as it goes – lawn mowers, bicycles, race cars and four-legged mules.”

The China Grove Fourth of July Parade is ripped from the pages of yesteryear when throwing candy was not only allowed, it was encouraged.

“Sure, you can throw candy and some people throw colored beads, soft toys and stuffed animals,” LaFountaine said.

“Last year, some restaurants tossed coupons. You just never know what the parade will bring.”

The road leading into China Grove is a good vantage point for viewing the parade but so is the “downtown” area.

The corner of Lockheed Martin Road and Merriweather Trail can accommodate lawn chairs and is the closest place to all the good food that is available for the lunch bunch – hotdogs, hamburgers, barbecued chicken and ribs.

And, the Benton Brothers will be on stage with their special brand of bluegrass/gospel music for all to enjoy following the parade.

When the parade ends, there will be free slices of watermelon for the asking and plenty of shady places for picnics and fellowship.

“A lot of people stay around to have lunch,” LaFountaine said. “Some people bring picnics to spread. Others bring board games to play, instruments to pick, and even books to read.”

LaFountaine explained that many people like the down-home atmosphere of China Grove and take advantage of the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy a Normal Rockwell Fourth of July in the usually sleepy community of China Grove.