Houston & Peach

Perry holds inaugural Independence Day parade

Perry citizens were able to enjoy an Independence Day parade on their own streets for the first time Sunday.

The Perry Area Chamber of Commerce held its inaugural Independence Day parade Sunday.

The parade kicked off at 4 p.m. at the corner of Washington and Main streets and finished at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, and crowds of flag-waving onlookers lined the streets despite sweltering triple-digit temperatures.

David Ragan, NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver, was the grand marshal of the parade and Angie Johnson, a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” was the celebrity marshal.

No food or merchandise was sold during the parade, but local business owners weaved through the crowd handing out coupons and candy.

The parade featured 100 entries, ranging from military units to beauty pageant winners.

All branches of the military were represented, and both local and state politicians participated in the parade.

The U.S. Air Force Reserve Bagpipe Band marched in the parade, and the Fort Valley State University football team made an appearance.

A big hit with the crowd was the Scat Cats unit of the Al-Sihah Shriners who zoomed by in child-sized cars.

Carswell Winne, who lives in Warner Robins, said he heard about the Perry parade while attending a Navy reunion in Atlanta.

He and his wife, Shirley Winne, were both proudly wearing shirts sporting the insignia of the U.S.S. Cowpens, the aircraft carrier Carswell Winne served on during World War II.

He said he came out to support the Independence Day event because he is very patriotic.

Rebecca Johansen, who has lived in Perry for 11 years, said she came to the parade to support her country.

She cheered for the Warner Robins Museum of Aviation float, and said she was particularly glad to see the military floats.

“That’s what it’s all about ... it gives me chill bumps,” she said.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was used in this report.