Thousands wearing red, white and blue and waving small American flags lined Mount Vernon Road on July 4 to watch and cheer the annual Independence Day parade that celebrated this year’s theme of “A Small Town in a Big City.”
Sponsored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, the parade features veterans, floats, marching bands, classic cars and plenty of American pride and spirit. Alan Mothner, executive director of the Dunwoody Nature Center, was this year’s grand marshal.
Nina Dunlap, attended her second parade with her husband, Edward, son, William, and her niece, Cash Laoha, who was visiting from Thailand. “We wanted to do something fun in the city, to support the city,” she said.
“It’s very wonderful,” Laoha said of the parade, wearing a red, white and blue shirt. “I’ve never seen this before.”
William said he loves the atmosphere and the community feel of the parade. “It’s great. It’s a lot of fun,” he said.
The smell of sunscreen was strong along the parade route as revelers attempted to protect themselves from the scorching sun. Parents and grandparents pulled wagons with toddlers in them as they sought a space to watch the parade and friends shouted and greeted each other with hugs and smiles.
“It’s a great community event,” said Edward Dunlap. “It’s really a lot of fun to come out.”
As military veterans marched by and waved to the crowds, those along the parade route continued to clap until each person walked by. Many shouted, “Thank you!” to show appreciation for their service.
Following the parade, a closing ceremony in Dunwoody Village included the swearing in of 74 new U.S. citizens, who hailed from 36 countries. This was the third year the DHA hosted the swearing-in ceremony. This year, Kevin Riddle, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in Atlanta, issued the oath.
Miss Georgia Alyssa Beasley led the new citizens in the Pledge of Allegiance.
As it has for years, the Dunwoody Woman’s Club had a table of homemade cookies to hand out to new citizens following the ceremony.
Samira Janohmmad from Pakistan, holding her infant son, Ariz, who giggled and waved an American flag, took the pledge with a huge grin on her face.
“It’s a great day,” she said. “There is no better day than to get your citizenship done than on the day of independence.”