Fourth of July Parade and Celebration Set for July 2

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Fireworks at the CVFD Centennial in Crozet Park last September. Photo courtesy Bill Sublette.
Fireworks at the CVFD Centennial in Crozet Park last September. Photo courtesy Bill Sublette.

Crozet’s traditional Independence Day parade and town celebration is set for Saturday, July 2 (the day the fireworks company could come) and promises to be the real deal of American-style family fun.

The parade will organize at Crozet Elementary School, its usual starting point, at 3 p.m. and begin marching toward Crozet Park at 4 p.m. Any one interested in joining in the parade should call the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department at 823-4758 or fill out a parade unit sign-up form online at crozetfire.org. Retiring U.Va. Senior Vice President and CFO Leonard W. Sandridge, a Crozet native, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal this year. U.S. Senate candidate George Allen, whose wife Susan graduated from Western Albemarle High School, will be in the parade, a reprise of years past when he rode on horseback in it as our local General Assembly delegate. His election opponent, former Governor Tim Kaine, has also been invited.

The parade, which typically requires about an hour to pass through downtown Crozet, is expected to reach the park at 5 p.m., where the town celebration will be held.

Music will be provided by the bands Lock Jaw, up first, and 2nd Draw.

Other events include a softball game for town bragging rights between the volunteer firefighters and the coaches of the Peachtree League. Crozet businesses are organizing an expo to show themselves off, and there will be rides and amusements for young kids. The fireworks show is set for 9:30 p.m., when it will be sufficiently dark but not so late that youngsters can’t stay up. Bring a lawn chair if you want to be comfortable as you watch events.

Traditional American Fourth of July fare will be available, including pork barbeque, hot dogs, hamburgers, watermelon, corn on the cob, popcorn, apple pie and more. Crozet-area breweries and wineries will also be on hand to offer tastings.

Donations are being sought to pay for the fireworks and event expenses. Cars entering the park will be asked to make a suggested parking donation of $5 per car and 50/50 raffles will also be held throughout the evening.

A swing dance featuring the Salute to Swing big band and its fine singers will be held the evening before—Friday, July 1—under the park’s pavilions. A swing dance lesson will be offered from 7 to 7:30 p.m. and dancing will follow until 10 p.m. Light refreshments will be available.

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The Crozet Fourth of July parade a few years ago.

This year, proceeds from the celebration and dance, after expenses, will be donated to Crozet Park’s pool dome project, which still lacks $31,000 toward meeting a $200,000 challenge grant that will enable it to become the first independent public aquatic and recreation center in Albemarle and provide sorely needed services on the western side of the county.

The dome that will cover Crozet Pool—perhaps (hopefully) as soon as next winter—during the months from September through May will allow year-round swimming. Additional renovations to the park’s recreation building will support a fitness center and camps. New tennis and basketball courts and walking trails are also planned. The vision behind the Crozet Park is to become a community hub for recreation both indoors and out, providing year-round options for members of our community of all ages at affordable rates. The PARC, as the project is called, will offer memberships through a partnership with the YMCA, who will operate the facilities on behalf of the park. For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.crozetparkpool.com.

This year marks the first time in memory that Crozet’s civic organizations have teamed up to put on the Fourth of July celebration, a task that in the past fell solely to the CVFD, which sponsored a carnival as a fundraiser for the fire department.

Joining the CVFD in sharing the burden now are the Crozet Community Association, Claudius Crozet Park (which is community-owned and led by volunteers), the Crozet Lions Club, the White Hall Ruritans, the Peachtree League, the Crozet Community Advisory Council, the Crozet Business Networking Group and the Downtown Crozet Association, as well as many local churches and citizen volunteers. Yay USA! Yay Crozet!

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