The 72nd annual Kirkwood Fourth of July Parade will be held on Sunday, July 4 beginning under the huge American flag on Independence Drive at 5 p.m.

In 2020, when just about every event in the country was cancelled, beginning with the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament being held at the Greensboro Coliseum in March, the Kirkwood Parade started right on time.  That parade was dominated by vehicles and the normal crowd of kids on bicycles heavily and often garishly decorated with a red, white and blue theme was extremely light, but as someone said, “The parade must go on.”

The Kirkwood Parade celebrated it’s 70th anniversary in 2019, although a few people thought it may have actually started in 1948, not 1949, when a couple of World War II veterans and their families grabbed some American flags and decided to march around the brand new neighborhood banging on pots and pans, yelling, “Happy Fourth,” “the British are coming” and such.

In 2020, although the crowd was light and there was a paucity of kids on bicycles, there was innovation.  It was the first time in the long history of the parade where people on a homemade float threw hand sanitizer to the crowd instead of the usual candy or bottled water.

It was also the first parade in decades that didn’t have a single elected official participating.  There were a couple of candidates running in the 2020 election in the parade and they that said it was one of the larger crowds they had seen during the summer campaign season.

The late Congressman Howard Coble was a regular participant in the parade for 30 years.

In the past, both 13th District Congressman Ted Budd and former 6th District Congressman Mark Walker have participated in the parade.  Since both are now running in the Republican primary for the North Carolina Senate seat currently held by Sen. Richard Burr, who knows, they could both show up and hold an impromptu hotdog eating contest, borrow a couple of heavily decorated trikes and race or something.

The parade starts on Independence Drive between Delaware Avenue and Princess Ann Street at 5 p.m. It is free and open to anybody who wants to march in or watch the grandmother of all neighborhood Fourth of July Parades in Greensboro.