Fourth of July Parade Rolls through Crockett
By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – Houston County and the City of Crockett celebrated the U.S.A.’s 241st birthday in grand style on Tuesday, July 4. Sponsored by the Crockett Downtown Beautification Corporation (CDBC), the Fourth of July festivities kicked off with a parade though the center of town.
This year’s theme was “America: United Forever” and the grand marshal of the parade was Ronald Dowell.
Dowell was born and raised in Tyler. After high school, Dowell attended Baylor University where he played basketball and met his soon-to-be wife, Pat, in 1958.
After leaving Baylor, Dowell attended the University of Houston – College of Pharmacy. Following his graduation from the UH pharmacy program in 1961, he and Pat moved to Crockett where they purchased Davy Crockett Drug and operated the business for 45 years.
As the parade roared to life at 10:00 a.m., crowds of people encircled the Houston County Courthouse. Police cars and fire engines led the way followed by the various floats, ATV’s, motorcycles, bikes, organizations and horseback riders. The parade made its way around the square and came to a stop on the eastside of the courthouse.
Once the parade reached its final destination, the formal ceremonies began. Pastor Tim Allen, the senior pastor at First Christian Church in Crockett, welcomed all the parade participants and attendees. Allen recognized the CDBC for their hard work and dedication in making the parade and celebratory activities a reality.
“This is a great place to live – America,” he said.
Continuing with his opening remarks, Allen commented on the recent setbacks faced by the City of Crockett and Houston County.
“I’ll tell you one thing our forefathers taught us and that is we are not victims. We are overcomers. That has been the nature of this nation,” the pastor said. “I love to see when families – and the community – come out and we have something to stand for. If you don’t have something to stand for, you will fall for anything. I have seen that around the world.”
Allen provided a brief history of the parade and said this was the 21st year of the annual Fourth of July parade, adding the idea came from former Crockett Mayor Wayne Mask.
As the program continued, Allen requested Pastor Steve Meadows from the West Side Baptist Church in Crockett to lead the parade attendees in prayer.
At the prayer’s conclusion, veterans of American Legion Post 134 presented the colors and led the pledge to the American flag. Once the pledge had been given, a stirring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” was performed by those in attendance.
After the national anthem, Allen expressed his thanks to members of the armed services and said, “Remember, freedom does not mean we are able to do what we want to do, but rather the ability to do what we ought to do.”
Houston County Judge Jim Lovell and Crockett Mayor Joni Clonts welcomed those in attendance and both commented while the nation did have its struggles, the U.S.A. was still the best country in the world.
As he continued, Allen urged the parade attendees to venture over towards the north side of the courthouse to enjoy some hotdogs and soft drinks along with fresh pies and ice cream being sold by the CDBC.
Allen went on to announce the American Legion Post 134 had captured first place in the float category. The float entered by the Johns Reynolds family was second in the judging and the entry by Randy Allee and the J and J Fire Department was third.
In the bike decorating contest, Kailin Minchew took top honors. Oliver and Amelia Jimenez took home second place and Alexandra Andre placed third in the contest for their efforts.
Corrie Ainsworth was announced as the winner of the ice cream contest and Tammy Allen placed second.
In the pie category, Sandy Hughes finished first, Nelda McCain was second and Patricia St. Johns was third.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. .