Brundidge turns red, white and blue for parade

Published 11:00 pm Monday, July 2, 2012

Parade goers await the start of an Independence Day Parade in Brundidge, Ala., Saturday, June 30, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Written by Whitley Kilcrease

Amidst the sea of red, white and blue, an eager and enthusiastic crowd assembled Saturday on Main Street in Brundidge to hear the approaching sound of piping piccolos and pounding drums beating out familiar patriotic tunes.

A uniformed military troop marched into sight, signaling the start of the annual Independence Day Parade in Brundidge, sponsored by the Brundidge Business Association.

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There were more than 80 entries in the parade, led by the Pike County ROTC and the Ft. Rucker Band, which established patriotic overtones for the celebration. Many admissions were a salute to military services with delegates from Charlie’s Angels Retired Military Association, led by Troy Councilman Charlie Dunn, and members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars marching in the parade. Other armed forces entries included a World War II-era Jeep, submitted by American Legion Post #70 of Troy, and a modern humvee driven by Grand Marshal Don Renfroe.

Tradition and community, as well as patriotism, was an integral part of the festivities Saturday, with many seasoned spectators bringing family and friends to the celebration for the first time.

“I’ve been coming forever,” said Margaret Davis of Brundidge. “This year is my granddaughter’s first time coming to the parade. I think she enjoyed it a lot.”

Donna Copeland, daughter of Grand Marshal Renfroe, came with her family to the celebration Saturday to see a fellow family member in the parade.

“Well, we’re usually in the parade with my dad,” Copeland said. “We decided to do something different, so we’re just watching him this year. This parade has been going on for as long as I can remember.”

Other entries included local businesses and organizations such as First National Bank of Brundidge, Pike County High School marching band and the Brundidge Study Club.

Pike County Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year also participated in the parade, with representatives from The Wagon Wheel, a popular restaurant in Brundidge, riding on a float sponsored by the Chamber and BBA.

Other participants included queens from around the area representing their city or community in the parade while riding atop a patriotic assortment of red, white and blue vehicles. They were recognized after the parade at the Knox Ryals Pavilion and were also treated to a luncheon in their honor.

“We’ve been coming to the parade for years,” Wendy Downing said while watching the parade with daughter, Sarah Adkins, and grandson, Dawson Perkins.

“We’ve lived here all our lives,” Adkins said. “It’s just something we’ve always done every year since they’ve been having the parade.”