PARKTON — Precious Glenn has been coming to Parkton’s Fourth of July parade since she was a child.
“My favorite is the motorcycles and the mini cars,” she said, “but we didn’t have those back then. We had horses.”
Attending the annual event is so much of a tradition, it’s how Glenn and her husband, John, spent their 34th wedding anniversary on Monday. Monday was also an anniversary of sorts for the town itself, which marked its 55th annual Fourth of July celebration, and of course the nation, which turned 240.
Glenn was among a crowd of people waiting for firetrucks, floats, roaring motorcycles — and a few horses — to roll down David Parnell Street Monday morning. With her, she brought Jalen, her grandson from Greensboro who was attending the parade for the first time, and 4-year-old granddaughter, Lyric, who had joined the tradition before but was too little to remember.
The festivities also included music and vendors, and hot, humid temperatures didn’t stop the crowd from packing into Parkton’s downtown.
“You get to see old friends from high school and the neighborhood,” Glenn said. “It’s just a community affair.”
For sisters Mary Graham and Ivy Caulder, the parade is a family affair; their father rides a horse in the parade and has since they were young. They watched the parade with children in tow and said the kids are what keep them coming back to an event they’ve attended their whole lives.
“So they can see we what we had,” Graham said.
Ashley Fairley said the parade hasn’t changed much in the 27 years she has been attending — and that’s fine with her.
“I like the motorcycles and the kids like the horses,” she said while awaiting the procession with her husband, three kids and sister.
Downtown Parkton was decked out in red, white and blue for the day, as were Earl Woriax and his friends, all from Parkton.
Woriax served in the military and works for the government.
“I fly my flag in my yard every day, that’s the way I am,” he said.
But Independence Day gives him an occasion to share his patriotic spirit with others.
“It’s our nation’s birthday,” he said.
In addition to Parkton, Rennert and St. Pauls also held Fourth of July events on Monday. The St. Pauls Fire Department hosted a fireworks display while Rennert’s celebration included a parade, fireworks, gospel, vendors and a basketball tournament.