Big Day in Ellenboro crowd displays patriotism

Rains hold off for July 4 celebration
Jul. 05, 2013 @ 05:27 AM

Reports from the National Weather Service that Rutherford County remained under a flash flood watch may have dampened some July 4 spirits, but in Ellenboro, there was a definite sign of patriotism. 

Just after 9 a.m. Thursday, children, adults, senior citizens,  ponies and horses were decked out in red, white and blue as they walked along Main Street and Depot Street.

The annual Big Day in Ellenboro parade began under cloudy skies and the threat of showers, but most of the rain held off for the parade units to march along Main Street.

Parade-watchers stood with umbrellas in hand just in case the rains started. 

Ellenboro Mayor Jim Rhyne welcomed the group to the July 4 event declaring everyone "is going to have a good time."

With hands across hearts and saluting the American flag, veterans and the crowd  gospel singer Rick Strickland presented the National Anthem.

Noah Blanton came with his grandfather Gary Blanton, a United States Army Veteran. Melton is also member of the Rutherford County Honor Guard and the Disabled American Veterans.

Michael and Katelynn of Forest City walked along the streets with children, Evaeh, Carsen and Gracie, planning to "have a good time" as the mayor suggested. Chuck Brooks, a US Navy Veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 74 arrived on his motorcycle sporting a tall red, white and blue Uncle Sam hat.

"We're here to raise money for our veterans," Brooks said.

Al Murray, a Coast Guard Veteran and also an American Legion member, said he was celebrating July 4 in Ellenboro and in the rain to bring more awareness of America's freedoms and the costs of freedom.

The Sons of the American Revolution were also represented in the parade and at the festivities.  Captain Jim Brewer said the group was displaying its new Spirit of 1776 Flag. Brewer also reminded festival-goers that the turning point of the American Revolution was just a few miles from Ellenboro, at the Battle of Kings Mountain.