An even larger crowd than last year’s turned out on a relatively cool morning for the Dunwoody’s July 4th parade. Some 32,000 people lined the route, with crowds six and seven deep at some intersections and along Dunwoody Village Parkway.
A brief hiccup occurred near the start when a youngster slipped off a truck. He wasn’t injured, but EMT personnel took a look, delaying the parade and resulting in its arrival at the finish line about 20 minutes later than usual.
Two new parade entrants attracted a lot of buzz. The Great Idaho Potato Truck, a huge 18-wheeler with the cutout of a spud, drew ooohs and aahs and cameras. Parade Co-Chair Pam Tallmadge said the Idaho Potato Commission told her the truck will return next year.
In the closing area, the Blackhawk helicopter was surrounded by hundreds of kids and adults all morning. Its arrival before the blade set off a mighty rotor wash, damaging some sponsors’ tents and signs. But more than 100 people stayed until 1:15 p.m. to see it take off, circle Dunwoody Village and head for its base in Cobb County.
Thanks in part to the giant helicopter, the crowd at the closing ceremonies and in the Calvary Church’s Kid Zone was large. The Boy Scouts of Troop 266 from Dunwoody United Methodist Church had no trouble selling their barbecue.
Because it’s a county election year, several county officials rode in the parade, despite their bare-knuckled opposition to the creation of the city of Dunwoody and now, a city of Brookhaven. County chief executive Burrell Ellis and Commissioner Kathie Gannon seemed unashamed. Commissioner Elaine Boyer, a new cities supporter, was greeted warmly all along the route.
The winning entrants in the 2012 parade:
Religious – 1st place, Dunwoody Methodist. 2nd place, Dunwoody Baptist.
Neighborhood – 1st place, Redfield, 2nd place, Mill Glen.
Business/Government: 1st place, Great Idaho Potato, 2nd place, Bug Busters.
Adult – 1st place, Dunwoody Woman’s Club, 2nd place, Northside Hospital.
Antique vehicles – 1st place Dr. Z’s Fleet, 2nd place, Bill Grant tractor
Decorated cars – 1st place, Dunwoody High Hall of Famers, 2nd place, Mark Goodleman
Adults – 1st place, Dunwoody High, 2nd place, Atlanta Colts.
Fun: 1st place, Atlanta Pirates and Wenches Guild
Community Service - 1st place, PebbleTossers.
Community Spirit - 1st place, VFW, 2nd place, Coast Guard.
Patriotic Characters - 1st place, Dunwoody Preservation Trust
Musical groups - 1st place, 116th Army National Guard Band, 2nd place, Village Church of Dunwoody band.
BEST OVERALL ENTRY: VFW Post 462.