Over 3,000 people watch 4th of July Parade in Old Town Rockwall
(Photos courtesy of PlanetRockwall.com) ROCKWALL – In what numerous people said was the largest Rockwall 4th of July parade ever held, over 3,000 people watched the 45-minute, 40-plus entry parade, which started at Dobbs Elementary School, weaved its way through Old Town Rockwall and finished to throngs of people On The Square around the historic County Courthouse.
Featured participants were Fox 4-TV News Anchor Heather Hays, the two-time 2012 & 2011 State Champion Rockwall Girls Gymnastics Team and State Champion 50-Yard Swimmer Raena Eldridge from Rockwall High School, in addition to elected officials US Rep. Ralph Hall, State Sen. Bob Deuell, newly-elected Texas Rep. Scott Turner and Rockwall Mayor David Sweet with the Rockwall City Council.
So many hundreds of people were gathered on the Square that parade announcer Gary Freedman said several times that he found it difficult to actually see the parade.
The procession was led by a Rockwall Police Department motorcycle and the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Posse on horseback, followed by the Sons of the American Revolution color guard, dressed in Revolutionary War costumes. The signal for the start of the parade was the booming sound of a cannon shot off by one of the youth football teams, which typically starts their games with the cannon.
According to parade organizer J.J. Smith, publisher of TheRockwallNews.com, the parade started late because they had to wait for the Posse which arrived late after they rode in the Heath and Lakeside Village parades earlier that morning. There were some other problems lining up, as well, since several vehicles unexpectedly showed up and squeezed into the parade.
“I think it was a great parade and something you can fix and make it bigger and better,” said Mayor Sweet.
After the parade, Rockwall’s Got Talent winner Amber Carrington and Rockwall Community Playhouse singers delighted the crowd with several songs. Rockwall Mayor David Sweet and the City Council then congratulated the Rockwall High State Champions, and thanked all who participated.
“This was a great event,” said City Council member Michelle Smith. “Thank you J.J. Smith and The Rockwall News for all your work on this and thank you to all who attended.”
El Cayote Rojo sold quite a few tacos, water and soda at their vendor booth and the children’s bounce house was also a big hit with families.
“Good job, J.J; we enjoyed it,” said Rockwall resident Patti Muggeo.
Smith said that there was quite a bit of confusion for spectators because many confused the 4th of July parade route with the Christmas Parade Route. He and city officials may discuss merging the parade routes in the future.
The parade was hosted by TheRockwallNews.com and co-sponsored by the City of Rockwall and Community Bank, which provided funding for signs, publicity and more; Randall Noe Auto Group of Terrell, which provided six convertibles for riders; and Coldwell Banker Realtor Peg Pannell Smith, who arranged for the cars and provided flags along the parade route.
By J.J. Smith, Publisher