Celebrating the 4th
Despite the threat of rain, the annual July 4th parade in Shepherdstown went on as scheduled. And that threat did nothing to curb the excitement of hundreds lined along German Street who gathered to celebrate.
According to Rotarian Peter Smith, the 2016 parade was the largest yet with 74 entries participating. Smith is one of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club members who help organize the parade and picnic that follows each year.
Leading off Monday’s parade was the Honor Guard of the Civil Air Patrol, Martinsburg Composite Squadron, followed closely by the event’s Grand Marshal, Phil Coffee.
As with all town parades, Mayor Jim Auxer and members of the town council helped lead the parade. The mayor stopped along the parade route to greet many by name and shake hands with many more. He welcomed all to town and encouraged them to return.
A new and impressive entry to this year’s parade was MTV Solar and MD Volt who led a long line of electric cars. Several models were exhibited and the cars were then on display at the picnic at Morgan’s Grove Park following the parade.
These newer cars were not to be outdone by the antique cars shared in the parade. Among those entries were a 1930 Model A Ford owned by Larry Moore and driven by Tom Frazier; a 1972 Mova Rally Sport driven by Damon Branson; Bob Devore’s 1961 Studebaker Hawk; and Kevin Carter’s 1962 Rambler Classic. Antique fire trucks were also present including a 1940 model.
Leading into an election year, many local politicians took the opportunity of a parade to do a little campaigning. Republican and Democratic candidates for several offices were joined by supporters marching in the parade. Among those participating were State Senate candidates Patricia Rucker and Stephen Skinner; Delegate hopefuls Rod Snyder and Riley Moore; and, County Commissioner Dale Manuel, Circuit Clerk Laura Storm, Sheriff Pete Dougherty and Assessor Angie Banks, all seeking re-election. Also seen waving the political signage were Jan Hafer, seeking a seat on the County Commission, Tom Newcomer, challenging Dougherty for the job of sheriff and Herb Snyder for County Clerk.
One of the favorite entries in this and most town parades were the Dogs of Shepherdstown. The town, said parade emcee Todd Coyle, is very dog friendly.
Adding to the high number of entries were 4-H clubs, churches, clubs and more. Flip and Cheer students walked on their hands down German Street while square dancers demonstrated in front of McMurran Hall.
Rounding out the parade was Shepherdstown Fire Department members and friends who marched with a gigantic American flag. Also included in their entry were three pieces of apparatus from their station.
Fire Chief Ross Morgan also added a 1926 Seagrave with signage dedicating that entry to Chief D. Lee Morgan, former chief and Morgan’s father. The entry was a last minute addition, one that brought tears to the eyes of Rotarian organizer Holly Morgan Frye.
“I had no idea Ross was going to do that,” Frye said of her brother. “That really got to me,” she said.
Townsfolk were able to enjoy not only the parade but the picnic following at Morgan’s Grove Park where food was available as well as games and entertainment.