Independence Day Parade, Summer Fest a team effort

Published 6:32 pm Monday, June 27, 2022

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For Brian McDaniels, president of the Brundidge Business Association, the journey to the 2022 Independence Day Parade and Summer Fest was long but more than worth the drive.

McDaniels “captained the ship” so to speak but he will quickly say the crew manned the oars.

“It was a team effort,” McDaniels said. “The BBA, the City of Brundidge, my employees at Jackson Hardware, the volunteers, the vendors, the entertainers, those in the parade and those who participated throughout the day and into the night. Everyone was a part of the success.”

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Although early and later rains tempered the crowd, the show did go on and on.

“Army Retired Major Harry Potts was the grand marshal of the 2022 Independence Day Parade,” McDaniels said. “He was the deserving of the honor for his active duty service to his country and for his continued service in leading the ROTC program at Pike County High School.

Potts retired from the U.S. Army in March 1981, with 20 years of active service. He received the Meritorious Service Award at the retirement ceremony.

In August 1982, Potts was hired as the Senior Army Instructor for Pike County High School, a position he held until August 2000.

“Working with ROTC students who were willing to go beyond the norm to a higher level in society was very rewarding,” Potts said. “Some instructors said to me, ‘Potts, you are going to have trouble making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.’”

But Potts’ Pike County High School ROTC group rated “Honor Unit with Distinction” 17 or the 18 years he was at PCHS.

“Some of our students in ROTC have been impressive in various fields,” he said. “Thirty-four of our students were in Desert Storm and, on the average, 50 percent of the seniors in JROTC went into the armed services.”

Several of those students were at the recognition service for Potts on Saturday. Among them were five of Potts former ROTC students, including Colonel Jimmy Helms, director of Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Department of Public Safety.

Helms said Potts was a positive influence in his life and laid a strong foundation for his career with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and, he will always be grateful for his leadership and example.

McDaniels thanked all those who entertained throughout the day, the vendors and all who came to enjoy the activities from the Independence Day Parade.

“Everyone working together made the 2022 Independence Day Parade and Summerfest a great success,” he said. “Thank you, all. It was a great day in Brundidge.”