COAHOMA — Those wishing to get a bit of a head start on the July 4 celebration don't have to go very far.
The community of Coahoma will provide the first word — or first celebration, to be exact — on what is traditionally a star spangled weekend in Howard County when it hosts the annual Freedom Parade and City Park Celebration July 2.
The event was first organized to recognize the community's veterans and this year's edition is no different, said Lori Martinez, one of the event's organizers.
Five veterans — Charles Gray, Jerry Robertson, Bob Horn, Tommy Parrish and Kirby Brown — will serve as grand marshals of the parade, which kicks off the celebration at 9:30 a.m.
Vehicles and floats of several different descriptions will participate in the parade, Martinez said.
“There is no entry fee and everyone is welcome to participate,” Martinez said. “All they have to do, really, is show up that morning.”
All parade participants need to line up at the high school football stadium parking lot by 9 a.m. Judging should be complete by the 9:30 a.m. start time, Martinez noted.
The parade will head south on First Street to Broadway, west to Sixth Street, then north to the Coahoma Community Center, where the rest of the day's activities will be held.
The community center events start with special recognitions given to the parade grand marshals, citizens of the year and volunteer firefighters. Prizes will be presented to parade entries judged tops in several different categories, including best tractor, best float and best antique car, Martinez said.
Other organized activities planned for the day include lawn mower, power tool drag races, three-legged races and a washer contest. Entry fees are $25 for the mower and power tool races (cash prizes will be awarded) and $2 for the three-legged race and washer contest (gift cards will be awarded).
In addition, a barbecue lunch with all the fixings will be prepared by Jackie Hill Sr. Cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children. Those 10 and under can eat for free.
For more information, contact Quail Dobbs at 394-4000, Martinez at 267-1113 or Wallace at 270-3507.