Beech Community July 4 Celebration

Beech Community Independence Day parade

Mission Hospital helicopter landing at Beech Community Center for Beech Community Independence Day parade. Immediately after it landed and the rotors stopped turning, the chopper was swarmed by excited kids and more than a few equally excited dads.

The Beech Community July 4th event is the longest running Independence Day parade in North Carolina, its organizers say. The 2014 event was the 130th consecutive year the fire trucks, old tractors and antique cars, and veterans of various US wars have gathered for the quarter-mile parade route to the Beech Community Center (map).

Lots of ATVs and nicely restored cars in the parade.


But my favorites were the fully restored and functional tractors. I can’t explain it but there is something about an old tractor that stirs a primal native Kansan response in me.


And then there were the crowd favorites: kids on decorated bikes – some with training wheels.

Entertainment followed the parade in the auditorium of the Beech Community Center. Leonard R. Hollifield and the Appalachian Consort provided some Bluegrass tunes. Leonard is center on guitar, with Mark Cleverer left on mountain dulcimer and Lee Metcalf right on upright bass.

Unfortunately, Leonard’s father, Leonard Hollifield Sr, was “worn out” from an all-day recording session the day before. The father, who will be 88 years old August 3, is still one of the best pickers in the area.

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