Patriotism displayed proudly at 2022 Shirland parade
Spectators lined Shirland's Main Street for the Fourth of July parade. Patriotic outfits showed pride of our country and honoring our freedom. This year's parade was organized by coordinator Marianne Eshelmen of the Shirland Fire Department Auxiliary. Volunteers made sure that the parade ran smoothly and at a perfect pace.
The day started out with the traditional pancake breakfast at Shirland United Methodist Church. Every year an estimated 260 or more people are served by volunteers who work hard to assure everyone has a quality beginning to their day.
Temperatures sat at 82 degrees - the right conditions leading to a perfect day to celebrate.
The Walter Graham Post #332 Rockton American Legion Rifle Squad started things off with a 21 gun salute, followed by marching down the parade route. David and Sandy Tucker were the 2022 Grand Marshals. Loud applause was heard as they rode by in the back of a convertible driven by Brian Gummow. The Tuckers are longtime community volunteers and have been instrumental in the success of many Fourth of July breakfasts.
Shirland Fire Chief Greg Morrow and Ladies Auxiliary President Debi Wines rode together while sharing the spotlight in the parade.
A special dedication sign was posted on the front of a Shirland Fire truck reading, “R.I.P Tom Dobson, Thank You for 54 years of service.”
Specialty floats were decorated in red, white and blue, some accented with American flags. Generous amounts of candy and freeze pops were thrown from floats or vehicles.
Young ones and all ages waved as fire departments from Shirland, Harlem-Roscoe, Northwest, and Fire and Rescue turned on sirens while rolling down the route.
Harlem-Roscoe's Sparky the fire dog waved to everyone while riding on top of a firetruck.
Keeping up with traditions, family is always a strong part of the Shirland community. Four generations of the Sprague family were represented in the parade. The Bates family returned to the parade with the Spirit of '76 driven by Roger Bates as his wife Judy rode alongside him, throwing out candy. Five generations of the Bates family have made history in Rockton for the past 165 years. Also representing strong family ties was Bonnie Grundy and family members who shared a message of “Farmall All the Way," as seen from a wagon attached to an eye-catching tractor.
Stunning horses and ponies were featured; some were ridden on horseback and ponies were walked.
Music was played by the “When Pigs Fly" band.
At the conclusion of the parade, members of the Walter Graham American Legion Post #332 rifle squad gave a 21 gun salute followed by the singing of our National Anthem.
Pure family fun was created at Shirland's Fourth of July parade which lasted almost 45 minutes. Every year volunteers bring the spirit of Independence Day to the forefront!
The weekend prior to the parade and Fourth of July activities, Shirland Fireworks held a “Freedom Festival.” Food, crafts, a teenage hangout, five bands playing a variety of music, fun and fireworks - all were brought to life by the Shirland Fireworks committee in this first-time event which is certain to continue for many years to come.
Click or tap on the photo below to view an image gallery of the Shirland parade.