Published 9:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Hundreds of people lined up Monday to watch the fifth annual Meeksville Fourth of July Parade. Some of those people have been coming out for years, since back when it was held in China Grove. Others came out to witness the event for the first time.
Tommy Deveridge was one of those who has been a regular at the event. “I’ve been coming out for about 10 years now,” he said. “It’s the best Fourth of July parade in Alabama because there’s no restrictions; anything goes.”
Deveridge was referring to the parade’s open registration that allows for all kinds of vehicles in the race. Parade participants took advantage of the loose restrictions as all sorts of rides went by including fire trucks, brand new sports cars, classic muscle cars, Oldsmobiles, motorcycles, golf carts, go-karts, horses, ATVs and more.
The lunch served after the parade was another reason to come, said Deveridge. The barbecue was sold by the Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department, which sponsors the parade. The Fourth of July lunch is the department’s biggest fundraiser.
People came from all around, as evidenced by the group Deveridge was sitting with. Many attendees were from Meeksville, such as Deveridge’s friends Kim McPhail and Belinda Wright, who were attending the event for the first time. Deveridge and another friend, Nonia Williams, were both from Goshen. Others at the event came from around Pike County and beyond.
Ben Andress, veteran and flagbearer at many Pike County patriotic events, was the grand marshal for the parade. Diane LaFountaine founded the parade almost 20 years ago in China Grove and served as the parade chair until her death in 2013. The parade moved to Meeksville in 2012.