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Legion’s July 4th parade, fireworks don’t disappoint

July 12, 2017
By ED FRANKS (efranks@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

Spectators began lining Stringfellow Road between Winn-Dixie and the four corners early last Tuesday morning - many trying to find some shade from the already hot sun. By the time the parade left the Winn-Dixie parking lot at 10 a.m., there were hundreds lined up along the half-mile stretch of Stringfellow.

The July 4th Parade started precisely at 10 a.m. with the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Department leading the way with sirens and horns blasting followed by Lee County EMTs and Lee County Sheriff's Department vehicles.

This year's grand marshall, Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit, waved to the crowd from the department's Fire Rescue boat.

Article Photos

Parade grand marshall Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit tosses candy to the crowd.

ED FRANKS

"There's great participation this year," American Legion Post #136 Commander Tom Lewis said. "I believe we have more floats, more motorcycles and more of everything. This parade always draws a large crowd and even the Florida summer heat doesn't keep people away."

"This is our first Pine Island parade," spectator Jason Clark said. "We're visiting family in Cape Coral from North Carolina and saw this in the newspaper and decided to come over for the parade and maybe lunch. This is really great."

Carrying the American flag, Rick Alvarez led the American Legion Post 136 Color Guard as the American Legion float passed by.

"This is the 15th year that the American Legion has sponsored the parade," Lewis said. "For many years the Pine Island Elks sponsored the parade before we took it over."

This year the parade included antique cars; floats from the island churches, businesses and chartable organizations; Boy Scouts; ponies; lawn mowers; and, at the end of the parade, a number of children on bicycles.

The nearly one hour parade wound down just before 11 a.m. as the last float turned left on Pine Island Road to the Fire House. Afterward everyone went to the American Legion for hot dogs and hamburgers. The celebration continued all day and into the night at the Legion.

After dark, the Legion held the annual fireworks display.

"The American Legion is very proud to host this parade," Lewis said. "This is a great event where American citizens, families and children can come together and celebrate our independence."

The parade float winners will be announced in next week's Eagle.

 
 

 

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