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Town preps for July 4 celebration

By Staff | Jul 1, 2011

On Monday, July 4, the Shepherdstown Rotary Club will hold its 5th Fourth of July parade and picnic in Shepherdstown.

The parade will begin at 3 p.m. at the corner of Church and German Streets. It will proceed through town, turn down Mill Street and end at Rumsey Park.

In addition to the picnic, there will be live music and children’s activities at Rumsey Park.

David Miljour, a member of the Rotary Club, is in charge of organizing the events for the Fourth. He said that a parade and picnic on the Fourth of July is ideal because it is a laid back event.

“The basis is to get back to a time when the community can really get together and just have some fun together,” he said.

Miljour said there will not be a fireworks display this year due to budget issues. It would cost over $10,000, and the event is free, so costs are being kept to a minimum.

Miljour said that the Rotary Club and the community are working together for the July Fourth events. He said that everyone participating, including the bands that will perform at Rumsey Park, are volunteering.

Miljour noted the significance of the parade and picnic being held together.

“Five years ago was the first time a parade and picnic were done on the Fourth of July since before the Civil War,” Miljour said. “For the Confederate southern states, the Fourth of July was not a time for celebration.”

Mayor Jim Auxer also said that a Fourth of July parade has been a longtime tradition in Shepherdstown. Auxer said that the Fourth of July parade and picnic events held in the last several years have been popular events, and people in Shepherdstown are looking forward to the event this year.

Miljour said that the attendance in the past years has usually been between 300 and 500 people.

Julie Siler, the outgoing president of the Rotary Club of Shepherdstown, said that the Fourth is a holiday that brings communities together to celebrate the nation’s freedom, allows people to recognize and honor military veterans and just enjoy summer.

“When Dave Miljour started this event for Rotary four years ago, he envisioned a day of family, friends and fun where the community could come together in a relaxed way and celebrate,” Siler said.

According to both Siler and Miljour, the Rotary Club is primarily a service organization. A parade and picnic were chosen because the events were a simple way to promote community interaction.

“There’s nothing more folksy than a parade and picnic,” Miljour said. “It’s also hard to mess up.”