PERRY -- NASCAR driver David Ragan, a Unadilla native and owner of David Ragan Ford in Perry, will serve as grand marshal of the first Perry Area Chamber of Commerce Independence Parade.
Also, chamber officials announced Tuesday that singer Angie Johnson will serve as the celebrity grand marshal. Johnson is a former member of the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve at Robins Air Force Base and was on the NBC show The Voice.
Ragans father, former NASCAR racer Ken Ragan, was at the announcement and said his son has wanted to come to Perry more often, but it has been difficult due to his tight schedule.
The parade is set for July 1, a Sunday, and that Saturday night David Ragan is racing in Kentucky, where he finished eighth last year. He will then fly out after the race to be in Perry for the parade.
He ran well there last year, so I hope he will have something to come home and brag about, Ragan said.
Just minutes before the announcement, organizers also confirmed the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Bagpipe Band will perform in the parade. The unit performed for President Barack Obama in March at the White House.
The parade will be held the day before the popular Independence Day concert in Warner Robins, where Johnson also will perform. She agreed to arrive a day early to be in the Perry parade.
Chamber board Chairman Rob Brooks called the Independence Day concert one of the great events in our area. However, he said when chamber members were discussing a possible summer event, they thought something was missing in Houston Countys recognition of Independence Day, and that was a parade.
The parade will begin at 4 p.m. on Northside Drive, turn right on Main Street, merge into General Courtney Hodges Boulevard and end at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter. Applications to be in the parade will be taken until June 22 and are available online at perrygachamber.com or at the chamber office.
The parade is presented by David Ragan Ford and Weyerhaeuser.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.