Date: July 4th
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Parade begins at the Corner of Atlantic & Moore Streets.
Travels Moore to Howe Street.
Turns right onto Howe Street.
Follows Howe Street North to Fodale Avenue.
Turns right onto Fodale Avenue and ends just past Ocean Trail Heathcare & Rehabilitation Center
Who doesn’t love a parade?
The current N.C. 4th of July Festival Parade began in 1964 but has roots dating back to 1700’s, when the ladies of Smithville (now the City of Southport) dressed in white and marched through the town in observance of Independence Day. Today’s parade is much longer and has a bigger variety, with over 120 units filling the streets as children’s eyes widen in delight when patriotic units pass by. An extra special treat is that the newly crowned Miss North Carolina makes one of her first appearances in the festival parade.
The parade is sponsored by Dosher Memorial Hospital, NewBridge Bank & WECT TV6. Parade route begins at the corner of E. Moore Street and Atlantic Avenue, traveling E. Moore to N. Howe Street and following N. Howe to Fodale Avenue. The festival parade steps off at 11am on July 4th (unless July 4th is a Sunday and then it moves to Monday).
For those who want to watch the parade from the comfort of their air-conditioned home, consider watching the parade on WECT TV6. The parade will be televised on the day of the parade at 8pm on WECT TV6.
Click Here to Watch the Parade from WECT TV6 Website.
The 4th of July Committee is pleased to announce this year’s parade Grand Marshal. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas G. Blue, United States Army Retired. Lieutenant Colonel Blue was commissioned a second lieutenant in Air Defense Artillery through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Davidson College, Davidson, NC. His assignments include duty as Maintenance Officer, Security Officer, and Team Commander with 501st United States Army Artillery Group, Germany, Battalion Adjutant and Battery Commander with 4th Battalion, 61st Air Defense Artillery at Fort Carson, Colorado, Assistant Professor of Military Science at Davidson College, Adjutant of 160th Signal Brigade in Karlsruhe, Germany, Executive Officer of 5th Battalion, 3d Air Defense Artillery, 8th Infantry division in Mainz, Germany, Staff Action Officer, in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, the Pentagon, Director of Logistics and Deputy Commander, Area I Support Activity, Camp Red Cloud, Korea, and Deputy Commander, 597th Transportation Terminal Group, Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point.
Born in Charlotte, NC, Lieutenant Colonel Blue holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. He is a graduate of the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic Course, Infantry Officer Advance Course, Combined Arms Service Staff School, and the United States Army Command and General Staff College.
Lieutenant Colonel Blue’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Lieutenant Colonel Blue started his JROTC career at East Columbus High School, where he was named the Teacher of the Year for SY 2007 – 2008. Lieutenant Colonel Blue is currently the Senior Army Instructor for the JROTC Program at South Brunswick High School where he received the American Legion JROTC Officer Instructor of the Year 2014 for the State of North Carolina.
He is a member of American Legion Post 543 in St. James, NC, a Life Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10400 in Boiling Spring Lakes, NC, and a Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans.
Lieutenant Colonel Blue and his wife Rose, of Wiesbaden, Germany have two daughters, Michelle and Jennifer and currently resides in Southport, NC.