When Rogersville 4th of July organizers threatened to pull-out all the stops for this year’s celebration: they weren’t just whistling Dixie. The event was phenomenal.
The Rogersville “Honoring America” Parade was true to the theme. In honoring our country, we celebrated her greatest resource – the people.
Grand Marshals of the parade were retiring County/City school directors, Clayton Armstrong and Ravan Krickbaum. They were preceded in the line-up by the Veterans from American Legion Post 21. Many of our younger citizens opted to participate as well – as did the plethora of local beauty queens and emergency service providers.
Bringing some beats were Cherokee and Volunteer High School marching bands. The Volunteer High Drum Line, under the direction of Josh Light and percussion coach Crandal Curtis- amazing. If you missed them on the 4th, the kids will also be performing in the upcoming Kingport Fun Fest parade.
Other notable paraders were Church Hill Attorney (and possible `08 State Senate contender) Mike Faulk, State Representative Mike Harrison and wife, Nikki and… none other than the King of Rock and Roll – Elvis who apparently endorses H&R Block Tax Services. (HA! Just last week, you people refused to believe I’d seen the King eating at the local McDonald’s. You assumed I’d been drinking too much and/or completely lost my marbles like Cousin Eugene, who carries around the butterfly net to capture invading aliens. Ya’ll owe me an apology for those phone calls and emails urging me to seek medical treatment!)
After the parade we headed over to the park for some eats. There were numerous food booths available – sausages, blooming onions, and funnel cake. We opted for Richard and Marty Beets’ Pig-n-Chick tent down by the city pool. The Beets’ BBQ sandwiches have ruined many a good shirt in Hawkins County. If you haven’t dined on their swine: I’d recommend you stop in for a visit at their restaurant. The waitresses are sweet as pie and the food’s great. (Try the cornbread salad and banana puddin’.)
The kids enjoyed one of largest “free”play areas ever offered and ice cream courtesy of Food City. I was impressed with volunteers who, despite the heat and increasing crowds, were cheerful and kept the lines moving. Between the Kid Zone and the City Pool being open free to the public: you’d have been hard pressed to find a miserable tyke on the premises. Most were clutching balloons with sticky fingers, scampering back and forth between the pool and the stage area or running parents around in circles as they determined what inflatable activity to try next.
We did not stay for the musical performances. Rogersville, I love you – but it was 98 degrees in the shade and the crowd was sweaty. To avoid potential olfactory offenses, I opted to return after sundown. The fireworks show and music were spectacular, although in the future I’d love to see bigger bangs in a shorter amount of time. Fireworks are simply one of those things in life made special by the anticipation and rarity. At some point the show lasted so long, the excitement wore thin, and we just ran out of oohhs and ahhhs.