The competitive component is off for this year’s Millsboro Kid’s Parade, after the Millsboro Chamber of Commerce created its own event, leaving Kid’s Parade organizers to focus on the fun.
For the past 11 years, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church has been holding a parade for children so that local and visiting families could dress up in costumes, as well as decorate bikes and strollers, on July 4. Gale White, one of the coordinators of the event, said that, in past years, families would compete in categories such as best costume or best decorated dog; but, this year, there will no longer be any contests.
The Millsboro Chamber of Commerce used to take part in the event and provided trophies for the winners. Now that the Chamber has started its own event — Millsboro Stars & Stripes, set for July 1 this year — it has pulled out of the parade and is therefore no longer providing trophies.
“It’ll be a better feeling than a group of judges scoring them,” White said of the parade walkers.
She said the lack of a competitive factor will actually encourage a more fun and light environment, with people not trying to out-do others.
This year, White said, the parade will start at 10:30 a.m. on the grounds of St. Mark’s Church. White said that families are still being encouraged to dress up in costume and parade around the grounds to show their patriotism.
At the start of the event, there will be a brief patriotic ceremony, which will include Boy Scout Troop 382’s color guard performing with American flags. Singer Cathy Gorman will be singing the national anthem during the ceremony.
The ladies of the American Legion Post 28 Auxiliary will also take part in the ceremony, carrying a large banner and giving out small American flags to people in attendance.
After the ceremony, Carol Huston, the parade marshal, will be leading children in the traditional children’s parade around the church grounds. At the end of the parade, all of the participants will receive a small gift.
White said she felt as though it would be more enjoyable if everyone received a prize instead of just the winners of some categories. The children will also get the opportunity to be quizzed on Independence Day facts by Millsboro resident Roberta Collins, White said. There will be hotdogs, chips, drinks and even cupcakes at the event.
“It’s just about the kids understanding what the Fourth of July is,” White said.