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Two Lancaster County communities are gearing up for their annual Fourth of July parades.
The 29th annual Charlesboro parade often attracts a couple thousand guests from throughout the region.
"Instead of going to the beach, they come out here," said Frank Faulkenberry. "This is really like a reunion."
The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. in front of New Haven Baptist Church on Taxahaw Road and runs one mile to the Charlesboro Fire Station.
The only requirement to participate in the parade is to display an American flag for entry.
It's always a surprise, and
part of the fun, to see who shows up.
Many four-wheelers typically participate in the parade.
Spectators will line Taxahaw road to watch the parade in lawn chairs or in the tailgates of pickup trucks.
After the parade, people are invited to a traditional music program in front of Charlesboro Baptist Church. Free cookies and drinks will be offered to all.
"It's good for the kids and clean fun for the family," Faulkenberry said.
Kershaw Town Councilman Harold Williams, who grew up in the Charlesboro community, will play Uncle Sam, just as he has for more than 25 years. He will also appear at the Heath Springs parade.
Heath Springs parade
Jannette Hilliard, chief organizer of the Fourth of July parade in Heath Springs, said visitors can expect the same fun and patriotic jubilee this year as in past years. The parade is in its 19th year.
Lineup for the parade will start at 4:30 p.m. on College Street near the baseball field.
Heath Springs resident Gary Sowell will clear participants for the parade. Participants tend to be local and state dignitaries, floats and four-wheelers, among a larger variety.
One needs not sign up or prior notify. Just bear an American flag or another patriotic symbol.
"Just show up," said Hilliard, who is also a Town Council member in Heath Springs.
The parade will start at 6 p.m. at College and Main streets and loop north into downtown. Hilliard said spectators usually bring lawn chairs or sit on the street curb.
This year's grand marshal will be Bobby Jones, the recently retired S.C. Department of Transportation commissioner who once lived in Heath Springs.
A program will start in the Town Hall parking lot about 7 p.m., or soon after the parade is over.
Guest speakers will provide a few words and the crowd will sing patriotic songs.
U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-5th District, is expected to attend, and Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs will perform beach music.
Williams, a Lancaster County native, performed at last year's event, and inspired people to turn out. The event had its largest attendance ever, Hilliard said.
"He promised he would be back," she said.
Vendors will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and funnel cakes after the parade.
Local businesses LT's Cards and A Basket for Every Season will be on hand selling novelties.
Contact reporter Johnathan Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 416-8416