RED, WHITE AND BLUE: Meeksville Parade brings crowd (PHOTOS)
Published 1:30 am Friday, July 4, 2014
Hundreds of people descended upon Meeksville Friday morning for the annual Independence Day parade. The down-home atmosphere and fun-loving spirit of the event brought people from across the region and from down the road.
Parade group organizer Mona Jackson said everything from 4-wheelers, motorcycles, fire trucks, golf carts, tractors, bikes, and walkers joined in on the parade.
“You name it, we got it,” said organizer Bennie Pritchett.
Red, white and blue covered most of the parade members and most of the onlookers came complete with baubles and trinkets galore.
This was echoed in volunteer Ray Crosby’s recollections of the founder of the parade, the late Diana LaFountaine.
“She was a red, white and blue woman,” Crosby said.
The parade originally was held in China Grove but has been in Meeksville for the past three years. It was was founded 17 years ago by LaFountaine. Her son Jeramy Nichols said he is proud to see her legacy live on.
“It’s a legacy of freedom-remembering but also teaching children what it’s all about,” Nichols said. “It was always important for my mom to give back to the community and veterans. It’s taken off from there. It’s a culture now. It’s not about who you are or what you’ve got. Push it, pull it, drag it, ride it, it’s the place to be on the Fourth of July.”
The parade is not only a time to have fun but also the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department. The crowd lined up to dine on ribs, chicken and ice cream after the parade while the Benton Brothers band provided musical entertainment.
“It helps keep the fire department and all community fire trucks going,” Pritchett said.
Brittany Barnes and Lakira Croswell and their family have been coming to see the parade since 2000. They said they saw car tags from all over the South parked to see the parade –from Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
“It’s a family tradition, each year it gets bigger and better – and hotter,” Brittany Barnes said with a laugh.