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Caldwell Parade Info – July 4th

 
Caldwell NC Parade

Our Post is getting ready to join other veterans in our rural areas of northern Durham for the annual Caldwell July 4th Independence Day Parade.  It is a fun event that reminds us of the small community parades that dotted America for many years.  Caldwell is our favorite and we really enjoy the day and the parade.
 
If you are a Post member, a veteran, a family member or a friend of a veteran, we hope you will skip a day of shopping and join us as we salute our Nation.  Our post will set up a couple of canopies and cooking equipment at the Caldwell Community Center at about 8:30 a.m.  A number of our seniors will setup their folding chairs along the roadway by our encampment and relax as they await the parade that starts at 11 a.m.
 
At about 10 a.m. many of our veterans join the town (and neighboring community) marchers at the Caldwell Fire House (on Guess Rd). The community lines Guess Road from the firehouse to the community center.  There are several places along Guess Rd to watch the parade.  There is also a parking area near the community center.
 
The parade starts moving at 10:50 with veterans leading the parade.  We will stop at the NC 57 and Guess Rd. intersection to wait for the 11 a.m. official start.  This is when traffic is stopped and  one lucky–and very surprised– motorist will be selected as this year’s Grand Marshal.
 
At exactly 11 a.m., the traffic is stopped on NC 57.  Our Post Colors are lowered to highlight the National Ensign and the National Anthem is played.  A bi-plane from the “Caldwell Air Force” flies overhead and you can feel the pride and respect swell as the community honors the veterans and their Country.  
 
The parade then steps out led by veterans and heads north toward its end at the Caldwell Community Center about one mile up the road.  We are the first to arrive and it is a grand site.  Our wives and families cheer us on and take lots of pictures.  We then join them for a snack and watch the parade go by.  The parade lasts nearly an hour!  Lots to see!
 
If you are a veteran, you are welcome to watch the parade from the grove of trees just before the community center.  We have a family picnic during and after the parade.  Our members bring a cold dish or dessert to share and our cooks prepare hot dogs for our members and guests.
 
Post 9100 welcomes all veterans to drop by the Post 9100 canopy to meet other area veterans and their families.  Come on by and sit a spell.
 
 

July 4th – A Small Town Parade

VFW color guardMany years ago, we were asked to help locate veterans who would be able to help other veterans lead the Caldwell (Rougemont area) July 4th Parade.  We volunteered to help and have continued this tradition for more than ten years.

 

Caldwell is a small rural community located at NC Highway 57 at Guess Road in Durham County. It is just a short distance from Hillsborough. You are encouraged to show your patriotic spirit by joining in the festivities and parade. The veterans gather at the Caldwell Volunteer Fire House on Guess Road between 10 and 10:15 a.m. for formation. We are at the very front and form a Veterans Color Guard that leads the parade.  District 6 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts have joined us from Mebane and Durham.

 

The parade starts moving at about 10:45 am and proceeds to the intersection of NC 57 and Guess Road. It stops and waits for the parade start at 11 a.m. Directions

 

Strange things happen at 11 a.m. First, the first car to reach the intersection is stopped. The driver is escorted from their car and is made the Caldwell Parade Grand Marshal. The Caldwell Air Force (a biplane) flies over the parade and the National Anthem is played to start the parade. Our very own Gil Montoya was caught one year, but he enjoyed the honor as a Grand Marshal.

 

There are marching groups, manure spreaders, cowboys on horseback, floats, scooters, bicycles, motor bikes, antique cars, bands, fire trucks, and antique cars. The parade continues for about one mile and ends at the Caldwell Community Center. The VFW veterans break off (as we lead the parade) and join their families at the community center park.

 

We are augmented by area Catholic veterans from Msgr. William O’Brien, Assembly 3365, from St. Matthews Church.  Assembly 3365 veterans are taking over the hosting/cooking of the parade lunch.  This has been performed by the Heavlin family.  The lunch is for all veterans and their families and is served under the read canopy in the park next the to community center.

 

The our post is providing hot dogs and the Durham Assembly is providing hamburgers and lots of cold water. You are asked to bring a dish to share. It can be fruit, a salad, a favorite family dish, or whatever you are inclined to share. Be sure to bring your family and especially grandchildren. The Caldwell parade is Americana and country living at its best.

 

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Happy Birthday America!  0

We have just completed another fun day with real people in “real” America.  There is nothing like small town USA!

A lot of work went into providing a military honor guard for the Caldwell Parade.  A special thanks goes to everyone who has helped.  There were hours of shopping for food, food prep and family dishes, washing and waxing of cars and trucks, getting up extra early to get on the road for the 20+ mile trip, preparing uniforms, and setting up the cook tents.  But it was worth it!

We have been doing it since about 2005 when our post was asked to help the Durham Fleet Reserve Branch 52.  Branch 52 had been leading the parade for about 20 plus years, but their honor guard members were entering their 80’s!  The Burlington Knights of Columbus Assembly provided augmentation forces and we were able to help the Fleet Reserve continue their tradition.

We have been doing the Caldwell parade ever since.  With the Knights of Columbus help, local veterans were able to create some excitement and recruit new participants.  We now have our post, American Legion Posts 6 (Chapel Hill) and 7 (Durham), the Vietnam Veterans of American (VVA 530), and others!  The Knights of Columbus has continued to participate and this year a new Durham Assembly stepped out to lead the parade!  We’ll provide more details and many more pictures, but here are some teaser pictures taken today.