Article and photo by Savanah Mandeville

There are few things more all-American than a Main Street parade in Smalltown, USA.

That’s why, in just the few years since its inception, the Carl Junction 4th of July Parade has become one of the area’s flagship Independence Day celebrations.

“The parade’s theme is Salute to Freedom in America, and it’s a chance to honor our military and veterans,” said Dixie Asbell, director of the CJ 4th of July Parade.

In addition to the parade, the day’s festivities will include cash prizes and trophies for winning parade participants, lunch served by the VFW and local food vendors at the Carl Junction Community Center, 303 N. Main. Veterans eat for free.

An active, long-time CJ volunteer, Asbell started the 4th of July Parade in 2015.

“I’ve loved parades all my life, and we have some wonderful local parades,” she said. “We’re so blessed to be Americans, and I got the idea to have a parade to be a salute to the military. We got started and it just blossomed from there.”

Asbell said the parade has grown and improved each year through the help of about 15-20 dedicated volunteers. She added The Heartland Concert Band and Director Vicki Mays has been a faithful provider of patriotic music every year.

“It’s not just me, it takes a community,” Asbell said. “There’s no way it could be what it is without the help of our amazing volunteers, especially Holly and Duane Hukill. Holly is my rock and has been so helpful handling advertising and marketing. The support of our community and the volunteers has been just incredible.”

Thursday, July 4, 2019, 10 am

Learn more on Facebook: @CarlJunction4thOfJulyParade

This will be Asbell’s last year to serve as parade director. Those interested in taking over the role can contact her through the Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.