Rain doesn't dampen early fun in Haralson Tuesday night
By W. WINSTON SKINNER
Rain temporarily delayed the Independence Day parade in Haralson, but did nothing to dampen attendance at the annual fireworks extravaganza.
Welcome precipitation – in the midst of a dry spell – came to southeastern Coweta on Tuesday, falling for about 90 minutes during the mid-afternoon.
The town celebrated the nation’s birthday a day early this year with a parade, followed by a music program and festival. A kaleidoscope of color and cacophony of exploding shells ended the night to sighs of contentment and squeals of delight.
The rain, however, threw a kink in the parade plans. Some scheduled participants decided the parade must have been cancelled after the afternoon showers, and Spencer was on his cell phone a lot as time for the 6:30 p.m. event drew near.
(To view photos of the Haralson Parade, visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Events / Haralson for the Photo Gallery.)
Just a few minutes after the scheduled moment, the parade left Haralson Head Start, which is located in the community’s historic school. A Coweta County Sheriff’s Office patrol car led the procession, followed by Mayor Ted Bateman on his bicycle.
Next was the grand marshal, 16-year-old racing phenom Corey Payton. The 11th grader – a gifted student at Newnan High School – said it was his first time to be in a parade. He deemed the experience “pretty cool.”
The parade included the Griffin family’s float, pulled by a large tractor and a couple of shiny antique automobiles. Roy Watson rolled through town in his 1933 Ford. His wife, Inez, he confided, was his co-pilot.
The parade wound through town. Several of those with floats tossed candy to bystanders along Haralson’s streets.
After the parade, the crowd gathered at a lot on Line Creek Road near Shaddix Road. There was a booth offering fun items for children – oversize inflatable toys, glow sticks and necklaces and washable tattoos – adjacent to a popular jump house.
One vendor offered tasty hamburgers, and warm temperatures caused a line to form at the shaved ice trailer. Members of Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church from Lone Oak grilled hot dogs and offered homebaked goodies and cold soft drinks.
A group of boys quickly formed teams and created an impromptu football game. Music played throughout the evening with Little Joey – Joey Hoegger and Mike Lowry – presenting a bluesy version of “Amazing Grace” that ended seconds before the fireworks began exploding in the air above a field beyond the festival area.
The crowd grew until moments before time for the fireworks. People were parked throughout town – even on Highway 85. The City of Haralson sponsors the event each year.