True Country Red, White & Blue

Drawing on traditions & a sense of community, Bosque County towns offer opportunity to gather for Fourth of July celebrations focusing on patriotism & unity

On the Fourth of July, Bosque County residents came out in large numbers to celebrate the Nation’s birthday with traditional activities. And as far as you could see, there were people showing their national pride, dressed in red, white and blue, waving the Star-Spangled Banner and singing along with patriotic songs.

In Clifton, the city took a significant step toward getting people out to the City Park more. And what better way to do that than to have food trucks, a great band and an impressive fireworks show? With a county burn ban in place, this proved to be the only place people could enjoy fireworks. According to the City of Clifton, the professionally operated Fireworks on the Bosque Sat. July 2, drew the crowd estimated at around 1,500 participants, with others viewing the fireworks from the rodeo grounds, high school and various other locations around town.

“This year’s celebration could not have been possible without the support and donations of our local businesses and individuals,” Clifton Mayor Richard Spitzer said. “A special thank you to the Clifton

Volunteer Fire Department and Clifton Police Department that maintained a safe environment during this time of drought in the County and worked hand in hand with the city to ensure the safety of all participating in this event. A special thanks to the City of Clifton Public Works Department, that prepared the park prior to the event, helped with traffic, and cleaned up after the event was over.

Spitzer also conveyed a special thanks to David McDowell, City of Clifton Administrator for getting a committee together and bringing this much-loved event back to the City. The committee included Clifton City Secretary Cybil Humphreys, Trudy Sheffield, Todd Clift and Toney Rogers. According to McDowell, this event would not have been possible without these individuals’ acquiring donations, booking the band, and putting the posters, fans and banners together.

“The special events committee made it easy to run this event” McDowell said. “They were eager and excited to get this event back and ready to work on acquiring the donations necessary. They raised enough money in two weeks to pay for this great event with minimal city funding.

“We are looking forward to next year and plan on making this an annual event.”

As usual, the ceremonial setting of the flags in Iredell’s Field of Flags in the early morning hours is the first celebration of Independence Day, honoring those veterans who fought to preserve freedom for the nation’s citizens.

And it appeared that the Valley Mills Fourth of July parade and fun in the Santa Fe Park afterwards continued to get bigger and bigger, drawing people from all over the area. This year’s parade honored all Valley Mills Independent School District teachers. Having the parade at 9 a.m. before the July heat took over the day made viewing the 25-minute duration of the parade all the more comfortable.

There were classic cars, ATV’s, massive trucks, horses, four-wheelers to enjoy, all decked out in red, white and blue and throwing out enough candy to last kids for months. Many pooches came along with their families donning bandanas, and even tutus. At the park the patriotic party – organized by the Bosque Valley Heritage Society – continued, there were vendors, a bounce house, face painting and live music by the Dueling Hearts. And there was a Little Miss and Little Mister contest. It would have been a hard choice for the judges, because the kids were all so cute dressed in their red, white and blue outfits with matching bows.

And then it was time to cool off in Cranfills Gap, where they had three massive water slides for the kids to enjoy, along with free hotdogs and chips. As the kids splashed around, parents and grandparents enjoyed the shade of the canopies provided.

All in all, people at the family fun events were joyful, proud to be an American, grateful for their freedoms, happy to celebrate the nation’s Independence in unity with family, friends and neighbors. It was quite the sight to see.

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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