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Parade through history: Thousands participate in Jonesborough Days July 4 Parade

July 4th, 2014 10:19 pm by Tony Casey

Parade through history: Thousands participate in Jonesborough Days July 4 Parade

Thousands came out for Jonesborough's annual Fourth of July parade during the Jonesborough Days Festival. (Photos by Tony Casey/Johnson City Press)

Thousands stood, sat, cheered, applauded, smiled, laughed and took part in the annual Jonesborough Days’ parade Friday morning.

“Here they come!” one little boy shouted as a lead police bicycle brought forth the beginning of the parade.

What followed on the sunny day were politicians involved in several different local elections trying to sway a few last votes before voting takes place. U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, and Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge both opted for tractors as their modes of transportation through the parade route, smiling and waving to the crowds lining the streets. Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe strolled by in an antique cherry red Ford Mustang.

With so many people in attendance, a street-side spot was almost as difficult to find as a parking spot, but once settled in, attendees had no problem finding the parade-viewing hot spots.

Falling on the United States of America’s birthday, the parade had no shortage of American flags or red, white and blue colors. There was also quite a bit of the color green from all the antique John Deere tractors.

Candy tossed by people in costumes or T-shirts in support of churches, local leaders and causes were all on display, with the eager hands of children and adults grabbing at all the freebies.

Princess waves came from the back of convertibles carrying the likes of Miss Historic Jonesborough Lexi White, Miss Johnson City Blakely Bays and other local pageant winners. Aside from the beauty queens and political kings were many local Christian churches, trying to recruit for their places of worship.

Sadie Jones, of Jonesborough, and her grandmother, Nicki Biddix, were in attendance to watch Biddix’s husband and Jones’ grandfather ride his motorcycle during one of the sections of the parade that honored veterans. In fact, Jones was there for her first live parade, something to which she’s looked forward.

“I’ve seen them on TV,” she said, assuring that she wouldn’t load up on candy.

Alan and Angela Rupert, of Limestone, brought their nephew Josh Tester, 9, to what he believed to be his ninth Jonesborough Day parade in a row.

“I’ve been on that float,” Tester said, pointing at one of the entries.

Alan Rupert said that, indeed, Tester had, because his son, Charlie, invited his cousin on the David Crockett High School football team’s float in the past. Like Biddix and Jones, the Ruperts, who’ve been to too many of the parades to count, say they love seeing same stuff they always have, but really like the parade’s focus on honoring veterans.

Plus, Alan Rupert said, it gives them a chance to catch up with people they hadn’t seen in some time.

Events are planned through today, including Patriotic Stories and songs at the International Storytelling Center, eating contests and many performances, including the Southern Countrymen Band, Thistle Dew, the Old Timers Band and more. A complete listing of attractions is available at www.historicjonesborough.com.

Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonycaseyjournalist.

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