BBA begins independence day celebration with two events

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Brundidge Business Association is gearing up for its annual Independence Day activities, which will get underway Thursday with the Veterans Salute at Knox Ryals Pavilion and culminate with the Independence Day Parade Saturday in downtown Brundidge.

Dixie Shehane, BBA president, said everyone is invited to Brundidge to celebrate the country’s independence, first, with the salute to all American veterans and then with a down-home patriotic parade.

The Salute to Veterans will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the pavilion on the grounds of the historic Bass House and will feature entertainment, reflections by an American patriot and a candlelight ceremony to honor individual veterans.

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Entertainment will be by the Benton Brothers and Company, a popular bluegrass/gospel group from Pike County.

Col. (ret.) William L. Jackson, a veteran of World War II and Korea, will be the featured speaker for the event. Jackson, a master Army aviator, was a member of the Army Air Corps during WWII and served in army aviation in Korea in 1951. He is a lifetime member of both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Randy Ross, Pike County Veterans Affairs officer, said the Salute to Veterans will include a candlelight service in which those in attendance will be invited to light a candle in memory of a deceased veteran or in honor of one who has served or is serving in the United States military.

“This is a very meaning part of our Salute to Veterans as we remember the veterans service to country,” Ross said. “We invite everyone to attend this special event that honors our country and the men and women that we owe the freedoms we enjoy.”

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the BBA’s annual Independence Day Parade will honor and celebrate America and everyone is invited to participate with an entry in the parade or as a flag-waving spectator.

“There is still time to register an entry in the parade,” said Delatha Mobley, parade co-chair with Lamar Steed. “Calls continue to come in and we’ll accept entries through Thursday. On Friday, those who have pre-registered are asked to call 334-735-2179 or 735-2306 to get their lineup numbers.”

Mobley said the parade will be led by the Fort Rucker Army Band, Charlie’s Angels and the Pike County High School JROTC Drum Corps.

The Fort Rucker Army Band will step out of the parade at the Bass House and continue to play throughout the parade.

“Our VFW Post 7055 will be an honored unit in the parade,” Mobley said. “Our grand marshal for this year’s parade is Mr. James Pollard, a World War II veteran, who came to Brundidge in 1953 as plant manger of Reigel Gloves and remained as plant manger for Fruit of the Loom and Russell Athletics. Mr. Pollard has served our country and our community and we are proud to honor him as our grand marshal.”

Mobley said the parade will feature queens who represent 30 Wiregrass communities, nine floats that are sponsored by local businesses, clubs and organizations and individual entries. It will be a fun and exciting parade and we encourage everyone to begin their Fourth of July celebrations in Brundidge with the Salute to Veterans on Thursday night and the Independence Day Parade on Saturday morning.”