A rainy morning could do little to dampen the holiday enthusiasm of the Ararat community as residents gathered for the annual Independence Day parade and celebration.
Parade entrants gathered early Monday morning, allowing a long and colorful parade to wind its way along Ararat Road to the Ararat Volunteer Fire Station. Organizers counted 72 entries, including floats, classic cars, tractors, golf carts, four-wheelers and numerous vehicles from other area fire and service organizations.
“This was a good parade for us,” firefighter Sam Goins noted. “We’ve had some showers before, during other years, and rain doesn’t seem to keep people from taking part or watching.”
After arriving at the fire station, parade participants joined others from the community for a morning of food, fellowship and fun. The Ararat Masonic Lodge was on hand to sell barbecue sandwiches while fire department representatives served up hot dogs, chips and drinks.
Other highlights included a fire truck-shaped bounce house, which proved to be a favorite with youngsters, as well as music by local favorite Billy C. Smith.
And in a hotly contested battle, young incumbent “Mayor” Bailey Key was able to retain her title.
“We were glad to see a really good crowd come out for this,” Goins said. “This is something we enjoy doing for the community, a way for us to show our appreciation for their support throughout the year. It’s a good day for everybody to come together and enjoy a good time.”