By CAROL FERGUSON
The Kavanaugh United Methodist Church Community Enrichment Series and the Park Street Historical Association will present the 17th annual Fourth of July Parade and Patriotic Program on Thursday.
Additional activities have been included this year, beginning with a pancake breakfast at Park Street Baptist Church from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and open to everyone. The breakfast is free; donations will be accepted.
Registration for the Firecracker 5K begins at 6 a.m., and the race starts at 7 a.m.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. with participants lining up at 9 a.m. at the east end of Park Street, past the turnaround.
Michael Spaight, a longtime Park Street resident and former PSHA committee member, will be grand marshal in the parade which will proceed west to Kavanaugh United Methodist Church, 2516 Park. Also participating in the parade will be a number of Greenville and Hunt County political figures and departments as well as the Greenville ISD Marching Band under the newly appointed director Joel Weisberg.
An entry fee of $25 will be accepted for any campaigning politicians or commercial organizations in the parade.
The Patriotic Program in the Kavanaugh church sanctuary will immediately follow the parade, and usually starts about 10:45 a.m.
Gary Woodall, bagpiper, will welcome everyone from the front steps of the church. Rev. Stephen Cotten, pastor, will open the program, followed by a prelude played by Kavanaugh organist Kathy Logan with trumpeter Enrique Molina. The presentation of colors and Pledge of Allegiance will be led by the Greenville High School NJ ROTC Color Guard.
Special guests participating in the program will include four local citizens who are being recognized for giving their time and efforts toward community betterment: Dr. James Sandin, Fran Sandin, Roz Lane and Steve Ramsey.
The singing of patriotic songs will include the Armed Forces Salute during which members and veterans of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Air Force are invited to stand and be recognized as each of their anthems is sung. James Narramore, known as “The Whistler,” will share his talents by performing George M. Cohan’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”
Charles Sivley will lead the July Fourth Community Choir which will present a special performance of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Anyone in the community who loves to sing is invited to be a member of the choir for this performance. Interested persons must attend the one-and-only rehearsal from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday morning in the Kavanaugh sanctuary. All music will be provided at the rehearsal.
Kavanaugh’s organist, Kathy Logan, will be joined by Daniel Harp, organist at Kessler Park UMC in Dallas; piccolo player Jessa Martinez, a student at Texas A&M University-Commerce; the July Fourth Community Choir and the entire audience for the traditional grand finale, a rousing rendition of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
After the program, Kavanaugh’s Young Adult Class will host a free watermelon picnic for the audience on the east side of the church building. Watermelons will be donated by Brookshire’s Food Store.
Everyone from Greenville, Hunt County and beyond is invited to attend this old-fashioned celebration of Independence Day. No admission is charged for this program or any program sponsored by the Kavanaugh Community Enrichment Series which is financed entirely by a fund of private donations established for this purpose.