This year, the grandmother of all neighborhood parades in Greensboro, the Kirkwood Fourth of July Parade, along with celebrating the nations birthday will be celebrating its own 70th birthday.
According to a document found a few years ago in the attic of a house in Kirkwood the parade began on July 4, 1949 when some WW II veterans and their families grabbed a couple of American flags and marched around the neighborhood.
Since then the parade has grown, but not too much. It’s more than a couple of families and for the past few years has been led by a large cohort of kids on bikes decorated in the Fourth of July tradition, followed by cars, pickup trucks some pulling trailers, golf carts, ATVs, red wagons and just about anything else that has wheels.
Years ago the parade was led by an impromptu marching band that often included Congressman Richardson Preyer. After one parade a band member was asked why they kept playing the same song over and over the reply was, “That’s the only one we all knew.”
Congressman Howard Coble made the Kirkwood Parade a regular event on his busy Independence Day schedule and Congressman Ted Budd has continued that tradition.
It is an extremely informal parade with anyone who chooses to walk around the neighborhood welcome to join in. This year there is actually a reviewing stand, parade entries will be judged and perhaps winners will be announced.
Since the parade is in its 70thyear it is not unusual to have adults who marched in the parade as kids, now walking, perhaps a little more slowly, with their grandchildren.
Everyone who has ever lived in Kirkwood, knows someone who has lived in Kirkwood, thinks they might someday know someone who lives in Kirkwood or happens to be in the neighborhood is invited.
The parade start promptly about 5 p.m. Thursday, July 4 on Independence Road between Princess Ann Street and Delaware Avenue.