Every 4th of July, my neighborhood throws a parade in honor of Independence Day. Everyone dresses in celebratory costume – dogs, children, adults, bicycles, scooters, and an occasional fire engine sport some U.S.A. flair. It’s come to be one of my favorite days of the year. We begin on a shady street and promenade in a 6 block radius, to end up back where we started for red, white, and blue ice cream; cookies; cupcakes; and an assortment of beverages.

All of this is followed by the Annual Kids vs. Adults baseball game on a lot built and maintained by the neighborhood children behind the houses of some very community minded neighbors. Then, we share a beautiful pot luck lunch and a pool party. We end the day back at the baseball diamond with blankets, mosquitos, and fireworks, as always, provided by Florence-based TNT Fireworks. In my mind, it’s community—and the celebration of a nation— like it’s supposed to be.

RECIPE FOR A PARADE The recipe: take a homemade flyer; add a few kids to decorate in red, white, and blue; go door-to-door to pass these flyers out; mix in a few neighbors willing to open their homes; several adventurous spirits ready to parade; and adults just crazy enough to embarrass themselves on the baseball diamond. Afterwards, fill a table with home-cooked food, swim, eat, eat, swim, see the sunset, watch fireworks, laugh, sigh, sleep. Repeat next year.

We challenge you to plan your own neighborhood parade. Let us know how it goes.

Our annual parade has become such a success that the City of Florence has asked us to lead the city’s official Stars and Bars Strut on the 5th of July this year as part of our monthly First Friday’s celebration of the historic downtown community.

We’ll be meeting in the Trinity Episcopal Church parking lot, 710 North Pine Street, Florence, Alabama at 6pm, Friday, July 5th.

Come out, walk with us, and join the fun.



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