Main Street in New Castle started filling up with people an hour before the parade started.
Families shopped in Family Dollar, and many enjoyed the country store layout and items offered in The Emporium. The Masons Lodge had lemonade and there were goodies being sold at the Hotel, as well as a meal for those who wished to relax and eat after the parade.
Kids were waving their flags, and many were adorned in their red, white and blue to honor the holiday.
At the Craig County Fairgrounds, myriads of community members showed up to participate in the event.
Hundreds of people lined Route 311 from the fairgrounds to Main Street.
The Daughters of the American Revolution who sponsored the event were “tickled pink” at the huge support of the participants and the spectators.
Emcees, Tim Leftwich and David Givens, provided lively commentary and patriotic music during the parade on Route 311 and on Main Street.
The long parade line lasted about 30 minutes, starting with the Grand Marshall, the retired superintendent of Craig County Public Schools, Jeanette Warwick.
She was followed by New Castle’s new mayor, Lenny McDonald.
There were floats, vintage vehicles as well as newer models, the Kazim train, people on motorcycles, 4-wheelers, bicycles, a tractor, boats, as well as many walking.
The local fire departments and rescue squads made the kids squeal with delight as each filled the air with siren sounds.
Some were handing out candies and patriotic pinwheels. The DAR ladies handed out tea bags, as their float was “The Boston Tea Party was no party.” There were also “winner” tags on some of the tea bags where people could take them to the DAR stand and receive prizes.
The Most Patriotic winner this year was last year’s winner as well, the local Craig Valley VFW Post #4491, with their rendition of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima, a very emotional time for the USA.
The Dunbar family won the children’s Most Patriotic entry, as they also won last year.
Many others decked their vehicles out with patriotic colors; however, another mindful float was that of the Craig County Historical Society. It was simple yet profound. A military person was kneeled on one knee, with a folded flag on her lap and in front of her was the standing rifle and helmet against a white cross and the combat boots positioned at the bottom. The sign said, “Freedom is never free.”
Though the parade was over, many continued to enjoy the fellowship of others on Main Street.
“This was a day that we need to continue to teach our children to respect and honor,” one resident shared. “It’s our history as Americans and it is great that it brings us together like this in such a welcoming atmosphere.”