Saturday, July 3 was a festive and patriotic day in the Royal Oaks community as neighbors, friends and local dignitaries gathered for the 15th annual July Fourth parade.
Chip Wood, the only student in Tennessee selected by the governor to a seat on the 2010-11 State Board of Education, served as grand marshal. Event organizer Dick Cutler was pleased with the turn out. “The parade went very well. We had a lot more participants and a bigger crowd this year so I think all in all it went very well.”
Residents participated in a variety of ways. Babies were pushed in strollers, children rode on bicycle in wagons, while others rode in decorated golf carts, antique cars or motorcycles. There was even a contingent of Boys Scouts from the New Providence Presbyterian Church was on hand to carry the colors.
Cutler said neighborhood response to the event has fluctuated throughout the years but the goal has always been the same. “I’m just trying, first and foremost, to get this community coming out of their houses and waving flags,” he said. “My goal is just to make it more of a celebratory event where the residents feel free in joining in and others can join them.”
Cutler, a U.S. Air Force veteran, said he started the parade 15 years ago. “Then we were close to 100 residences and believe it or not 80 percent participated and then as we grew, we’re now over 400 residences and there is something about getting larger,” he said. “Your parade gets smaller. People don’t know anybody. I’m trying to bring the community back together even though there are 400 residences, we’re in this together.”
Best in Show was the Cantorie family with a float honoring U.S. troops. Runners up included the Bednar family golf cart, the Hash family golf cart, the Jordan McCord entry and New Providence Presbyterian Church’s Troop 88 for presenting the colors.