Perry community gathers for Independence Parade

efarlow@macon.comJune 30, 2013 

PERRY -- Lora Arledge watched the groups of red, white and blue clad people sitting on the sidewalk waiting for Perry’s Independence Parade to begin on Sunday evening.

“I really love to watch people,” she said.

She was sitting on the porch of Simply Southern Sweets, the Washington Street bake shop she owns with her daughter-in-law, Debora Arledge.

Lora, who has lived in Perry since 1970, said people-watching is the best part of a parade.

“Perry has a strong sense of community and patriotism,” she said, as she waved and said “hey” to people as they passed her shop. She said a parade “is a good way for Perry to celebrate the fourth.”

The Alredges’ bake shop is a small, one-room store. The cakes, cookies and cupcakes are on display in a glass case. The shop, with hardwood floors and a few decorations, is true to its name: simple and southern.

The 14-layer cakes Debora bakes hardly seem simple, though. Debora does most of the baking for the shop, which happens in a kitchen on Massee Lane. Debora said the goal is to one day bake and sell in the same location.

When the parade began at 6 p.m., the Arledge family walked down from the porch to stand on the sidewalk.

“It’s always great when you see Perry people come out,” Debora said.

They saw bagpipers playing “God Bless America,” grand marshal and Perry native Casey Hayward of the Green Bay Packers, marching military units and Shriners.

Lionel Barfield is in the Legion of Honor, a group within the Shriners that honors veterans. The Legion of Honor leads parades Shriners participate in, which could be up to 70 or 80 a year, Barfield said.

“It’s just an honor to carry the American flag,” said Barfield, who served in the Air Force for 26 years.

Barfield and the rest of those in the parade traveled down Washington Street, where they passed Penrose and Sallyanne Wolf, who were waving from the porch of The Swanson, a Southern-cooking restaurant in the historic Cox-Swanson house. The Wolfs moved to Perry from Connecticut five years ago to be closer to their daughter.

“We thought it was a nice town,” said Sallyanne.

The Wolfs thought the whole affair was nice.

“The parade is really nice,” said Penrose. “It’s a nice evening to have a parade.”

The Perry Independence Parade ended at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, where fireworks and live music by Campbell Airlines were scheduled to end the night.

To contact writer Emily Farlow, call 744-4225.

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