By Ashley Rader
Downtown Elizabethton will be decked out in red, white and blue this Independence Day for the annual July 4 parade.
Parade organizer Bob Cable said he feels planning is progressing and promised Elizabethton one of the largest parades that has ever been held in downtown.
“This will be the biggest parade Elizabethton has ever had,” Cable said. “It will be a long parade. I anticipate the beginning of the parade will be at the monument before the rest of the parade has even started.”
The parade will begin at 1 p.m. on July 4. The grand marshal for the parade will be Albert Williams, a 94-year-old World War II veteran. Williams will be riding in the antique fire truck from the Elizabethton Fire Department.
Cable said the front section lineup for the parade has been finalized, but more entries are still coming in daily. He said he expects the parade to last for at least an hour, which is up from last year’s time of about 30 minutes.
Retired Elizabethton Police Department officer Carl Burrough will lead off the parade on his red, white and blue motorcycle accompanied by members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and possibly the EPD.
The Marine Color Guard will follow the motorcycles and officers from the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, the THP and the EPD will be behind them and escorting in the grand marshal.
Following the grand marshal will be the large American flag carried by members of the American Legion. The flag will stop at the Veteran’s War Memorial where soloist John Williams will sing “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.” There will be a 21-gun salute and “Taps” will be played before the parade will continue.
Other participants in the beginning of the parade will be the Elizabethton High School alumni band, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, the EHS football team and state Sen. Ron Ramsey.
“There will be oodlings and oodlings and oodlings more behind them,” Cable said. “There are a lot of entries in the parade.”