The 4-H Owen Blue Bonnets were singing our National Anthem on a beautiful float.

By Marianne Mueller
Starting off Fourth of July festivities in Shirland was a 5k Run. Winners emerged in various age categories.
Large crowds had breakfast at the Shirland Methodist Church before heading over to a very spirited parade which lasted nearly an hour.
Record crowds lined the Main Street of Shirland; ready to celebrate in pure patriotic splendor. Many celebrated the day dressed in American themed clothing.
The Sheriff’s Department led off the parade followed by The Walter Graham Rockton American Legion Post #332 who gave a 21 gun salute marking the official start. The Rockton American Legion Post #332 Ladies Auxiliary gracefully carried flags representing our country and the American Legion. Additional members rode behind in classic style.
Brock Scarpetta was honored as this year’s Grand Marshal. Shirland Fire Chief Ron Weaver and Auxiliary President Debi Wines rode the route together.
Family is always at the heart of every Shirland Fourth of July parade. Judy and Roger Bates rode in a Case tractor leading seven generations representing 161 years of the Bates Farm and family. Family members graced the Bates Farm Spirit of 76’ tractor decked out in all American colors. The Gundry family, and Sprague families drove various tractors. The Dale Bennett family rolled down the parade route in a Farmall.
Riding in a fully decked out float was the Kadeing family who honored the memory of different family members.
Rows of decorated golf carts hosted all American decorations courtesy of Putz Golf Carts, Sales and Service. Water was squirted from S&K’s patriotic themed boat. Candy or squishy toys were thrown off of vintage tractors, and various floats. A few businesses strolled down Main Street in the spirit of the day.
Interesting and Vintage cars strolled down the route. One creating great interest was a Polaris Ranger.
Numerous Motorcycles rolled down the route; one that especially captured great attention had Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus taking a ride. The Cranked Car Club joined the excitement as cars revved up engines capturing attention. Fantasy Limousine also took part in the action. Young ones rode bikes full of red, white and blue! Even dogs donned decorative clothing to celebrate our countries freedom.
The 4H Owen Blue Bonnets were singing our National Anthem on a strikingly stunning float resulting in great applause.
Girls Scouts represented “Women of the Past” honoring women who have made an impact on our world.
More live music created the perfect aura on the “Mad Dog Express.”
Members of Macktown Living History and Education Center held a banner promoting the upcoming Frenchman’s Frolic. Each wore outfits fitting the era of Macktown. A few other organizations joined in sharing future events.
Shirland United Methodist Church let young ones know about a “Kids Club.”
Fire Departments from Shirland, North Park, Northwest, and Harlem Roscoe came out to show their patriotic spirit! First Student Bus Company took part in the day’s action. Riding on top of the Harlem Roscoe truck was their mascot Sparky and a firefighter.
Durand State Bank once again participated. Stunning horses were ridden down the street.
At the parades conclusion the Rockton American Legion led in a closing ceremony.
This year’s 5K fun run and parade were organized by Marianne Eshelmen. Keeping up with fun Independence Day traditions an ice cream social with a cake walk were held at the Shirland Congregational Church.

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