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Cooleemee parade begins at 10 a.m. Monday

Town of Cooleemee
COOLEEMEE — There will be lots of red, white and blue accompanied by laughs, cute kids on bikes and old-timers riding their equipment at Cooleemee’s 14th Annual Lawn Mower Parade and Watermelon Feast.
The festivities will be held on Monday and begin with the parade lineup at Cooleemee Elementary School at 9:30 a.m. The parade will kick-off at 10 a.m., proceeding up Marginal Street.
Following the parade, there will be free watermelon, ice cream and water for watchers and participants alike on the Zachary House grounds where the parade will end. Bring your own lawn chair and view the parade in the shade near the corner of Marginal and Church.
Anyone may enter as long as their lawn mower, tractor, vehicle or bike (even dog) is decorated with a patriotic theme. Prizes will be given in various categories by a panel of anonymous judges.
July 4 will also be the kick off of a new marketing campaign called “Make Cooleemee Your Home.” Organized by the Town’s Cooleemee Futures Task Force, the mission is to attract young families and newcomers to become local homeowners. The focus on Monday will be to enlist community residents in a “word-of-mouth” effort, talking up Cooleemee to friends at work and at church. A short promotional video will be shown at a booth on the grounds.
To coincide with the campaign, the Cooleemee Historical Association will be raffling off a three bedroom historic mill cottage.
It will be open for public viewing from noon to 2 p.m. Monday after the July Fourth celebration. One thousand tickets will be sold at $100 each over the Internet and the winner must live in the house for at least three years.
The property, at 105 Joyner St., includes the historic Cooleemee Journal office.
It has been many years now since Mayor Grady Spry Jr. came up with the lawn mower parade idea.
“It caught on because it was so different,” former Mayor John Chandler said. He now works full-time as Cooleemee’s town clerk and finance officer. Chandler laughs when he says he’s been in charge of the event since then.
“Many volunteers help and we always need more,” he said.
The town’s new Recreation Department will be helping out this year, including supervising old-time games and a “Slip ‘n Slide” for children. The horseshoes will be out if anyone wants to try their throwing arm.
Thanks to the hard work of recreation co-directors Sandra Ferrell and Jessica Lagle and a few of their family and friends, the town tennis courts are free of the old cracked surface and freshly painted. Bring your racket and play a round.

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