New-look parade draws crowd to celebrate Fourth
by Celia Shortt
Newnan’s Fourth of July festivities kicked off with a new format for its annual parade, of which Main Street Newnan feels was well-received.
“Great turnout by all, what a wonderful way to start your holiday weekend,” said Hasco W Craver IV, business development director for Newnan. “With over 15 floats, numerous walking groups, and hundreds of onlookers, this year's parade was well-received. I have received several positive comments about the time and route.”
This year’s parade began at 9 a.m., rather than in the afternoon, and featured a shorter route. It began at Veterans Memorial Plaza at Jackson Street and Temple Avenue, moved down Court Square south and ended at Greenville Street Park.
The parade lasted just under half an hour.
There was also an effort this year to increase community involvement, and children of all ages and their families were allowed to march in the parade. As in previous years, public safety vehicles participated, as did businesses and other groups.
For the Buffalo Soldiers Post 910, marching in this year’s parade was a first.
“We’re trying to let the community know we’re here, and that we’re here to support veterans,” said Milton Allen, a member of Post 910. “We hope to be a witness to the community about the buffalo soldiers and their part of history.”
Engaging the community through the parade was also important to the Rev. Steve Bullard, the new senior pastor at Royal Baptist Church. This year’s parade was the first for him.
“We just want to be a good neighbor and be a presence in the community,” he said. “I think it’s good for churches to be present in their community.”
Despite this parade being Bullard’s first, Royal Baptist has been participating in the parade for the past 12 years.
With the changes received successfully this year, Craver sees Main Street building on the future of the event.
“We look forward to enhancing the new format in the years to come,” he said. “Thanks to all the parade entries, volunteers, city staff and public safety personnel that made this year's Fourth of July parade a wild success.”