Ronald McDonald the grand marshal for Faith 4th of July parade
By Sara Gregory
Faith’s July 4 parade marshal has giant red shoes to fill.
The festival, now in its 62nd year, will boast its largest parade, with nine professional floats led by Ronald McDonald.
The parade comes after a week of amusement park rides, food booths, music performances and the Faith Idol competition that begin this Saturday.
And revelers can stay on an extra day, as this year’s festival will run one day longer until July 5.
“With gas prices so high, we figured a lot of people can’t go on vacation,” parade organizer Pam Alexander said. “It’s a Saturday, so maybe they can come out to the rides.”
If the weather is good, festival organizers expect record crowds. As many as 40,000 could attend the parade.
Rides open and the first night of Faith Idol kicks off on Saturday. Patriotic music from the Civil War to today will be highlighted Sunday.
The July 4 parade will feature the official Ronald McDonald as grand marshal. His appearance is sponsored by Memories 1280-WSAT and McDonald’s and he will promote the Ronald McDonald house and related charities.
“He’ll be there greeting children, and kids can have their picture taken,” Alexander said.
The N.C. Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Association will join the parade once again and also will display two helicopters behind Shiloh Reformed Church following the parade.
The week’s festivities also will feature the Apple Ugly eating contest. Participants will try to see who can eat the most Apple Ugly pastries in 10 minutes.
And for those who just want to dance, the festival will host “So You Think You Can Dance” on July 5. Sign-ups will take place all week, and the contest will be shown on a large outdoor screen.
“We wanted to do something special this year,” Alexander says.
More information about the festival is available at www.faith4th.com.