The year 2020 may go down in the history books as the year of cancelations.
In Greensboro it started with the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament and the opening of the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
Even the governor can’t cancel Easter, since it’s right there on the calendar, but Easter church services were cancelled.
Not only was the Fun Fourth in Downtown Greensboro cancelled, but the Fourth of July fireworks were cancelled as well.
But one event that was not canceled was the annual Kirkwood Fourth of July Parade, aka the grandmother of all neighborhood parades in Greensboro. The Kirkwood Parade began in 1949 when a couple World War II veterans and their families grabbed some American flags and decided to march around the neighborhood banging on pots and pans, yelling “Happy Fourth” and such.
This Kirkwood Parade is usually led by a large contingent of young kids on bicycles all decorated up with red, white and blue everything. This year the kids on bicycles were few and far between, and the crowd of spectators was much lighter than some years. Although a resident historian said that when the Fourth fell on the weekend, Friday or Monday the crowds were always light because so many people in Greensboro take the long weekend and go to the beach.
The 2020 parade was dominated by cars, trucks and floats and nobody was spotted walking banging on a pot or a pan, although there were plenty of American flags.
And there were some innovations. This is the first Kirkwood Parade in its 71 year history where the people on a float, instead of throwing out candy or bottles of water, threw hand sanitizer to the crowd. The hand sanitizer was definitely a crowd pleaser. If someone had been throwing out rolls of toilet paper, they might have been mobbed.
No current elected officials were seen riding in the parade and there was a paucity of Democratic candidates.
However, Republican congressional 6th District candidate Lee Haywood, Republican 5th District county commissioner candidate Troy Lawson and Republican 27th District state Senate candidate Sebastian King all rode in the parade.
Former Greensboro Mayor Jim Melvin didn’t ride in the parade but was seen in the crowd.