Parades of Radiance From Heroes Park To Flagler Beach on America’s 235th
FlaglerLive | July 4, 2011
It began, this 235th anniversary of the Union, a little past dawn, at Palm Coast’s Heroes Park, where the city has been commemorating the occasion for the last few years in a brief ceremony mixing the solemn and the celebratory: Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts, a local founding father of sorts–his tenure on the city council, the longest on record, is just shy of the city’s 11 years, and he’s been around for almost 30 percent of the Union’s history–read from the Declaration of Independence; the Palm Coast Starlets twirled flags and limbs; a city employee recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan spoke gratefully of the supportive homecoming; and the Flagler Youth Orchestra played three works that summed up the occasion: “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “America the Beautiful.”
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- The Gods Must Be Crazy: Rain Slams But Doesn’t Stop Flagler Beach Parade
And beautiful it was Monday: in contrast with last year’s July 4th (or rather 3rd and 4th, when both Flagler Beach and Palm Coast held fireworks), the sun shone relentlessly, the breeze was light, the question marks, like clouds, distant to nonexistent. Last year the parade, held on the 3rd, ended in a downpour, and the fireworks were in question all day as the skies played a game of gray and grayer with the scattered crowds below. By nightfall, when the fireworks did go off, the lineup along the boardwalk and A1A was among the smaller of recent years. That’s not going to be the case this year.
The fireworks had been cancelled by order of the Flagler County Commission–until Friday, when the commission reinstated the Flagler Beach fireworks–but not the Town Center fireworks, which had been scheduled for Sunday (July 3), because of the threat of wildfires.
If the off-again-on-again fireworks roller-coaster has done anything, it has increased attendance, as attention has focused on the county’s only fireworks show of the season (neighborhood mercenary and rogue fire-starters aside).
The parade was just a warm-up for a day of festival-like activities Beachside. Here are a few things overheard during and after today’s parade in Flagler Beach, which featured, as always, participants throwing gobs of candy from their cars and trucks.
“Mom, somebody ran over a tootsie roll.”
“Almost an hour long. That’s pretty good for a little town.” (That was in reference to the parade’s duration, which did seem briefly interminable under the sun.)
“I just want to get something to eat and then we can come back.”
Words don’t do it justice. Here’s an appropriately interminable photo gallery of the morning at Heroes Park, scenes from the staging of the parade and the parade itself.