“Most of [the proceeds go] into the Optimist Club fund, and we support the Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter, youth scholarships, the youth appreciation breakfast at First Baptist Church [of Cartersville], Special Olympics, Civic Youth Day and other miscellaneous requests that are funded. All of it goes to youth-type activities,” said Cartersville Morning Optimist Club member Bruce Lindler, adding a portion of the vendor and parade entrance fees help fund the July 4 fireworks display. “... I just encourage everybody to come out and have a great time of patriotic celebrating in a family environment.”
The Fourth of July parade — presented by WBHF radio and the Optimist Club and sponsored by Georgia Bank & Trust — will begin and end at Tabernacle Baptist Church’s parking lot. After lining up at 7:30 a.m., the entrants will depart at 9 a.m., proceeding down Douglas Street, Church Street, Bartow Street, Main Street, Stonewall Street and back to Church Street and Douglas Street. The grand marshal for this year’s procession will be Markina Brown, a meteorologist for the CBS Atlanta News.
“Each year we have about 40 participants and this year as it stands right now, we probably have about 15,” said Lee Burger, program director for WBHF. “But, as of Thursday, it will be two weeks and usually that’s the time everybody starts calling and participating.
“We would just encourage everybody [to participate]. It’s $40 basically to enter the parade and ... it’s a great time. We usually have anywhere from [5,000] to 7,000 people in the crowds here, lining the streets.”
For more information or to obtain a parade application, individuals need to call Leslie Bronson with WBHF at 770-386-1450, visit www.wbhfradio.org or drop by the radio station at 7 N. Wall St. in Cartersville. There will be a $40 fee for each entry, ranging from vehicles to floats.
As WBHF seeks parade entrants, the Optimist Club is recruiting vendors for the Dellinger Park festivities that will begin at 10 a.m. Commercial operations will be charged $125, and fees for informational booths or arts and craft vendors will be $75. Interested groups need to call Lindler at 770-387-1485.
Along with vendors, the Dellinger Park offering will feature live entertainment, children’s activities, pony and camel rides, a petting zoo and a car show presented by the Shriners. A fireworks display will conclude the celebration at nightfall, courtesy of the Optimist Club and the city of Cartersville. While the event will not feature any admission fees, there will be a $2 parking charge.