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Wendell rings in Independence Day

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WENDELL — The town of Wendell charmed residents and visitors with its July Fourth celebration last week.

The parade kicked off at 10:30 a.m. and was followed by a ceremony at the Town Commons.

“I love the parade, the veterans who are so humble and gracious, the children who are so proud of their decorated bikes and wagons,” Mayor Virginia Gray said, “as well as the program celebrating our great country and the sacrifices made so we can celebrate on the Fourth. The celebration really is a great fit for us and exemplifies the small-town charm we love in Wendell.”

One of the highlights of the parade was the children’s section, with kids dressed in red, white, and blue, rolling down Main Street on bikes and wagons, led by Muddy the Mudcat. The parade’s Grand Marshall was Vietnam veteran Ricky Ray, who recently stepped down as the post commander at Wendell’s American Legion Post 148, a position he held for 20 years.

“Volunteers from the Historical Society and the community combined their efforts to celebrate Independence Day,” said Mary Jo Cashion, whose husband, Hugh Cashion, is the president of the Wendell Historical Society. “We are grateful to the many town employees working on their holiday, including Marc Collins, town manager, who cut and served watermelon. He was joined by Wendell’s ‘First Gentleman’ Bruce Gray.”

At the ceremony, the Historical Society presented a remembrance of Cedric Harris, for whom the local American Legion post was named. Harris was a second lieutenant in World War I who was mortally wounded on the last day of the war. Harris’ nephew, Larry Harris of Greensboro, and other family members were special guests.

Last week’s ceremony featured music by the Camp Flintlock Fife and Drum Corps, soloist Mary Selke accompanied by Carol Yeargin, and trumpeter Hubert Hines, and was followed by hot dogs, watermelon and dessert for everyone.

“Scouts, churches, businesses, civic groups, the town of Wendell, and many others pull together to make it happen,” Gray said. “It’s really wonderful to watch the community spirit. Everyone is so enthusiastic.”