LaGRANGE — The 32nd annual Sweet Land of Liberty Parade for youngsters is slated to begin July 4 at 10 a.m.
Line up for the parade is set for 9 a.m. at Sweetland Amphitheatre at Boyd Park, 110 Smith St., in downtown LaGrange.
Young people are invited to participate in the parade by walking, riding bikes and pulling wagons, but no motorized vehicles are allowed. Entry is free of charge. Only adults who are parents of children in the parade can walk in the parade.
This year’s parade route will travel south down Church Street from Sweetland Amphitheatre to Lafayette Square. The parade will turn left at Vernon Street in front of the Chamber of Commerce plaza, and left again up East Lafayette Square at Flagpole Park toward Ridley Avenue and City Hall. The parade will end back at the line-up point at the amphitheatre.
Participants can receive a free T-shirt when they sign up for the parade at the Mike Daniel Recreation Center, 1220 Lafayette Parkway, according to Sarah Cook, a spokeswoman for the parade-organizing group Junior Service League.
Juvenile Court Judge Michael Key is set to be the grand marshal of this year’s parade, which is themed “Liberty and Justice For All.” LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton is slated to introduce Key at the beginning of the parade.
A costume contest with a grand prize of $300 will be judged by last year’s grand marshal, Angela Anderson; school board member Debbie Burdette; and Kesha Edwards, owner of Whimzey boutique. Other prizes are also set to be awarded.
First, second and third prizes will receive $250, $200 and $100, respectively. All decorations must be made by children, with minimal adult guidance. Commercial advertising is prohibited. Judging will take place at the parade line-up point at 9:30 a.m.
The parade is sponsored by the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission with support from the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce and the city of LaGrange. The Junior Service League produces and directs the parade.
Later in the day, the county parks department will host the 36th annual fireworks show at Pyne Road Park, 4481 Roanoke Road in LaGrange.
Gates to the park open at 9 a.m. and the fireworks will begin at dark. There is a $10 entry fee per vehicle. Food, refreshments and souvenirs will be available, along with live entertainment provide by local band Mr. Terrific. The live music begins at 6 p.m. A children’s play area with rides and inflatables will be open from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
This year’s fireworks are sponsored by Kid’s Zone Dentistry and Dr. Chuck Pitts.
For more information about either of these events, contact the parks department by calling 706-883-1670.
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He maybe reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.