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Children's July 4th parade colors neighborhood red, white and blue

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Saturday, July 4, 2015

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Bike riders were reminded not to pass the Greer Fire Department's truck.
 

Jim Fair

Bike riders were reminded not to pass the Greer Fire Department's truck.

 



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Joe Bullington, a Vietnam veteran, brought his granddaughter to the parade.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Joe Bullington, a Vietnam veteran, brought his granddaughter to the parade.

 



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Red, white and blue was the wardrobe for virtually all the children in Saturday morning's parade.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Red, white and blue was the wardrobe for virtually all the children in Saturday morning's parade.

 



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Children shared some of their favorite friends.
 
 

Garrett Mitchell

Children shared some of their favorite friends.

 

 



 

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A light rain could do nothing to dampen the patriotic spirit of Greer on Saturday morning.

Scores of children, along with their parents and grandparents, participated in the 18th annual July 4 Kid's Parade.

It was arguably the largest turnout for the event, which has become an annual tradition.

"It's about tradition and this is what Greer is all about," Mayor Rick Danner said. "It's an organic kind of thing that has grown over the years, and every year people invite friends and family so it continues to grow. This is what small towns are all about."

Danner said Danny and Sherri Lynch started the traditional neighborhood parade when their children were young. Danner and his family maintained the event when the Lynch family moved from the neighborhood. 

The parade began at the 200 block of West Church Street, winding its way through the Arlington-Davenport neighborhood past houses adorned with our nation's colors.

Neighbors greeted those who embarked on the one-mile walk, waving to the children as one Greer police officer, leading the parade, played Ray Charles' rendition of “America the Beautiful” through his car radio.

It was a small slice of Americana in a community that carries deeply rooted values and patriotism. The parade was, and is, a way to bridge the generational gap between today's youth and our veterans, a feeling that was infectious on Saturday.

"It's special," said Joe Bullington, a Vietnam War veteran who attended the parade with his granddaughter. "Especially to see the flags, and to instill (patriotism) in the kids because if we don't, nobody will."

"One of the things I think about when I see all these kids is, what's going to be the next generation that takes this event and carries it on,” Danner said. “I hope it's the kind of event, even if they don't live in Greer, they'll think about carrying it on wherever they live when they grow up."

Bullington said the parade was one way to teach the children what it means to appreciate American freedom.

"The only thing they know is, this is how it's always going to be, and that's not the case," Bullington said. "If we don't value (freedom) and fight for it and protect it, it can go away. That's what's so important for them to understand."

The 2016 parade is schedule for Monday, July 4 at 10 a.m. Leap Year adds an extra day to next year's calendar.

 

 

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