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Freedom fun: Meeksville hosted annual Fourth of July parade

MESSENGER PHOTO/ SCOTTIE BROWN Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department hosted its fourth annual Fourth of July parade on Saturday. There were more than 50 entries in the parade ranging from vintage cars to motorcycles to horses decked out in patriotic-themed gear.

MESSENGER PHOTO/ SCOTTIE BROWN
Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department hosted its fourth annual Fourth of July parade on Saturday. There were more than 50 entries in the parade ranging from vintage cars to motorcycles to horses decked out in patriotic-themed gear.

Despite a brief rain shower on Saturday, the Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department’s fourth annual Fourth of July Parade honoring veterans past and present was an overall success.

“There were a lot of people out there,” said Earnest Green, president of the Meeksville department. “We probably raised a little more than $2,000 when it was all said and done. We had about $500 to $600 more come in after we had shut down the parade and vendors Saturday.”

Green said he had heard nothing but good things from those who came out to Harmony Park following the parade on Saturday.

“Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun,” Green said. “We had some dancers came out and they did Zumba, and we had a guy come out and sing some songs. It was enjoyable. I think we stayed until about two or three that afternoon.”

Green said that while the parade was still in the organizing stage, the volunteer firefighters worked to make this year better than the last.

“We’ve only had it for three or four years now, but each year we see something different we can do to make it better,” Green said. “The parade started in China Grove in 1999 or 2000, so it’s been going a pretty good while.”

Green said this year the department had tried to recruit more vendors earlier in the year, but felt more still could have been done to make the parade better.

“We were trying to set up our vendors in a more organized way, and we started with them earlier this year,” Green said. “We still had some come in late and at the last moment, but we are trying to get more churches involved in the parade as well. I think next year that will be one of our biggest pushes to get more churches involved.”

Green also said the department was hoping to expand the amount of pavilions in the park grounds. There is currently only one at the park, and Green said when the rain came pouring down the masses ran under the lone pavilion for shelter.

“We’re looking to hopefully put a couple of more pavilions on the ground,” Green said. “We want to put two or three more of them. If we can continue to get people to donate like they have been doing, I think we’ll be able to get more spaces like these.”

Green said some people left during the rain Saturday, but a surprising majority had stayed, waiting the storm out under the pavilion.

“The rain didn’t last very long, so we waited on it to pass,” Green said. “We had some people leave and then some even came back. The rain stunted the crowd a little bit, but I think if the rain hadn’t come the crowd would have stayed pretty large for a while.”

Green said ultimately he and the volunteer fire department were thankful for the continued support from the Meeksville Community.

“We just would like to thank everyone for coming out on Saturday,” Green said. “On behalf of the chief Louis Davis and the Meeksville Fire Department, thank you. We appreciate all the support the community brought to us Saturday. I think before the parade is all over, we will have the whole 15 acres full with vendors and parade stuff.”