Yes, this year the annual Barton Hills Neighborhood Association July 4th Parade will go forward, rain or shine, with the exception of lightning (well, maybe hail, too)! Please join in this wonderful tribute to our country and our community by parading on foot, bicycle, trike, scooter, buggy, or other vehicle of your choice, along with your dog, goat, or other legal and tame animal.

Many thanks go to Wells Fargo on South Lamar, who has generously offered to sponsor our parade this year. We look forward to a long relationship with this community institution that has a great record of civic leadership and service.

We are also honored this year to have two co-Grand Marshals who have graciously agreed to lead the parade: the Honorable Elliott Naishtat, District 49 State Representative, and the Honorable Darryl Slusher, City Councilperson. Kay Wallingford, Barton Hills Teacher of the Year, is also an invited guest.

The parade will assemble as usual at another one of our community partners, Barton Hills Market, at 8:30 am on Sunday, July 4th. At 9:00 am the procession will begin to Barton Hills Elementary School, where the Grand Marshalls will deliver keynote addresses worthy of Lincoln. Pulitzer-prize winning historian, Bill Brands, will again inspire the day with a historical perspective on the Declaration of Independence.

Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and our own nationally known singer/songwriter Sara Hickman will sing the National Anthem.

Festivities will follow and include such time-honored favorites as a watermelon seed spitting contest, sack races, egg toss, face painting, pinatas, and the judges’ awards to the best parade entries in various categories. In fact, three people with an eye for patriotic style and flair are needed to judge the parade participants. So don?t forget to decorate your stroller, wagon, scooter, bike, skates, dog, hat, humvee, airplane?

Refreshments will be served at the playground as well, and volunteers are needed to donate cookies, watermelon, and water. Lisa Farenkamp, 444-3211, has graciously agreed to be the cookie coordinator again, and Art Stone, 444-5757, will ice down 8-10 watermelons if you will deliver them to him the night of July 3. Other volunteers are needed to help set up at 7:30 at the Barton Hills Elementary Playground, and to help clean up afterwards. Please contact parade co-chairs Shannon Noble at 916-9513 or Valinda Bolton at 383-8909 to volunteer in any capacity. All patriots who volunteer for this star spangled celebration will be gratefully acknowledged by the emcee at the ceremony!