Town’s 29th, Charles’ 100th

Farragut Indy Day Parade has variety

Thousands who flocked to Farragut’s Independence Day Parade lined up along Kingston Pike to watch high school marching bands, floats and scout troops Monday, July 4.

A Knox County Sheriff’s Office helicopter flyover drew children’s attention while marching bands from Farragut High School, Hardin Valley Academy and Concord Christian School kept the beat.

“Here it comes. I hear the drums,” Emerson Sims, 9, of Farragut said when the parade became visible.

As the parade passed, attendees waved to Jeff Jacoby, this year’s grand marshal; U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.; Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen, plus candidates of local and state offices up for election.

“I think this is the biggest crowd we have ever had,” Farragut Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche said. “[The crowd] was enthusiastic and responsive, and I loved the Farragut Museum ship.”

LaMarche said she had special friends from Cleveland and St. Petersburg, Fla., who attended the event. This is her last parade, as she has announced she will not be running for re-election.

This year’s parade featured more than 90 participants, which also included Boy Scout Troop 444 and Girl Scout Troop 20013 plus those on floats from businesses, the Town and churches such as First Baptist Concord and Union Cumberland Presbyterian. Some participants rode in antique cars while others walked along the parade route.

Children scurried to the edge of the road to grab lollipops; gum and chocolate candy packets participants threw to them.

Lambros Christopoulos, 7, of Farragut, said his favorite part of the parade was the helicopter flyover.

“Oh, it’s been great,” Renee Henderson, Knoxville resident, said.

“It’s a neat way to celebrate the country God gave us,” Carrie Alexander, Farragut resident, said.

“It makes me proud to be an American,” Thane Price said.

“We love it. It’s great,” John Rymer said.

However, for many attendees, such as Dennis Cope of Farragut, this year’s parade is part of a family tradition. “My family all come from Florida for the parade,” he said.

“We wouldn’t miss it,” Brian Austin, Cope’s son-in-law from Farragut, said. “We’ve been going to the parade for about 12 years.

My wife’s sister comes in [Town] to watch it, too.”

“They come in for family and we end up here,” Cope said.

“We have been going [to the parade] for 22 years,” Xrisanhe Christopulos said. “We celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday. She was born on the Fourth of July.

“The Farragut community is family, and we are here to support what the Town does.”

Monday was the second time B.J. Sims of Farragut said he and his family have attended the Farragut parade. “We moved here last year,” Sims said.

“This was the first event we did together so we are back again. It’s just a great atmosphere —all the families and the kids catching candy. It doesn’t get much more American than the Farragut parade.”

“Oh, it’s great. This is our first [parade],” Chad Hogue, who just moved him and his family to Farragut a couple weeks ago. “We are excited.”