As if a parade wasn’t enough to get folks out for the July 4th holiday, the Wendell Historical Society’s annual Independence Day celebration also includes free hot dogs and cake.
The event starts at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Wendell Boulevard and Main Street where the parade kicks off with the Police Department.
The route of about half a mile continues south down Main Street and over to the J. Ashley Wall Town Square at Third and Cypress streets, where the food will be served, according to co-chairwoman of the event, Kristy Todd, a historical society board member.
The highlight of the parade is the town’s children, who show the spirit of the day. “We encourage the children to dress up patriotically, and they can decorate their bikes or a wagon,” Todd said. “Anybody can dress up, but it’s mainly for our children.”
Mayor Virginia Gray will be giving out awards for the best costumes and best decorations.
Next up in the parade after the police will be the Boy Scouts carrying the flag, then Grand Marshal Robert Clark, a veteran who served as a paratrooper with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.
Other area veterans will ride in antique Jeeps and trucks, and there will be a Fire Department honor guard, as well as a “Betsy Ross” and a “Lady Liberty.”
New in the parade this year will be the Wake District Public Safety Pipe and Drums, a bagpipe outfit that will perform at the square to close out the event.
“We’re really excited about the bagpipers because this is the first time we’ve have them,” Todd said. “This is the first time we’ve had a band.”
She said the historical society is also working on including a kazoo band, but plans for that hadn’t been finalized as of early June.
“It’s a sweet little parade,” Todd said. “It really is a sweet little parade.”
Last year 500-600 hot dogs were served, she said, and organizers are planning on 600 attendees this year, though Todd thinks there could be even more. “It is really well attended,” she said. “It is a nice time.”
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826