This Wednesday, the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce, along with Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, will hold its fifth annual Youth Fourth of July Parade.
“It’s a celebration of the labyrinth and the Fourth of July,” said Amy Simmons, the Chamber’s event coordinator, referencing the church’s meditation labyrinth. “It is for kids, but adults are more than welcome to come.”
Simmons said the youth parade is unique to the area and is something in which many kids enjoy participating.
“We kind of feel that this is unique because, other than a handicapped child, we do not let any motorized vehicles in the parade. It’s predominantly centered around the children.”
Participation is free, and all kids are allowed to participate, regardless of where they live. Simmons said the Chamber encourages the children to dress themselves and their pets for the holiday, as well as decorate their own bikes, strollers and wagons.
“We have them from babies in a stroller to kids riding bikes by themselves. They think it’s fun. They get to ride through the town on their bikes. The police and fire police help us with traffic control from Saint Mark’s to Cupola [Park]… The Sussex County Young Marines will be there. We usually have Boy Scouts that march with us, too.”
The parade will line up at the Saint Mark’s Labyrinth at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4, and a brief ceremony will take place before the parade begins at 10 a.m.
“This year, someone is going to do a brief talk on what the stars and stripes mean on the flag and explain to kids about the procedure when the flag is folded,” said Simmons. “I think that will be really neat for the kids. Some kids may not know. They say the ‘Pledge of Allegiance,’ but they might not know what the stars and stripes mean.”
Following the ceremony, the parade — which had more than 75 kids participate last year — will begin its procession down East State Street to Morris Street to Cupola Park.
“We have a lot of people who just congregate on Morris Street, going toward Cupola, just to watch the kids,” said Simmons. “It’s really neat to see.”
Once the parade participants arrive in Cupola Park, trophies will be awarded to some of the participating children.
“There’s a little trophy ceremony for Best in Show, Best Bike, Best Stroller, the Best Pet and the Best Wagon. It’s really, really hard to decide, because the kids do such a good job decorating for the Fourth of July… You can tell the kids are really proud of what they’ve done to decorate.”
Simmons said that she hopes that families will be able to take a little time out of their holiday morning to learn about American history and march in the parade.
“It’s really a neat idea, and I’m glad I’ve gotten to be a part of it. It’s a big thing, and the kids seem to have a great time,” she said. We just hope that kids will come out and celebrate the Fourth of July and learn a little bit about the meaning behind the flag.”
For more information, call (302) 934-6777 or visit www.millsborochamber.org.