The Dunwoody 4th of July Parade returns this year with many special guests and attractions. The Dunwoody Reporter and the Dunwoody Homeowners Association are the presenting sponsors for this year’s parade, which begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 4. The following is a full guide to what is said to be Georgia’s largest Independence Day parade.

PARADE SCHEDULE

9 a.m. : Start at Jett Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Road, with route running along Mount Vernon to Dunwoody Village Parkway and the Dunwoody Village shopping center, where music, parade prizes and other closing festivities will be held.

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Kids Zone at Dunwoody Village.

10:30 a.m.: National anthem, sung by Jessica Iovanella.

10:30-11 a.m.: 116th Army National Guard Marching Band

11-11:30 a.m.: Georgia Sensation Chorus

11:30 a.m. (approximately): Parade winners announced

ENTERTAINMENT AND FOOD

Before and during the parade: Renasant Bank, 1449 Dunwoody Village Parkway, will have a tent with free face-painting, free water and doughnuts, and a cornhole game.

Festival after the parade

Barbecue for sale from Boy Scout Troop 266; hotdogs and sausages for sale from the Rotary Club of Dunwoody; frozen pops for sale from Steel Pops; beer for purchase from Moondog Growlers.

2019 GRAND MARSHAL

The Dunwoody Police Department

Police Chief Billy Grogan

Police Chief Billy Grogan offered the following thoughts:

The Dunwoody Police Department recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary as a department. We held an Open House as a way to say thank you to our citizens for their unwavering and continued support throughout the years.  The department started out with 40 sworn officers and eight civilians. Today, we have 62 sworn officers and 14 civilian employees.

From Day One, we have tried to only hire staff members that are interested in a career of service. Employees who understand the importance of working together with the community. Employees that treat people fairly and with empathy and compassion. We have a department full of people who understand that our core values are more than words written on a sheet of paper. Our core values represent who we are as people.

We are dedicated to continuing to provide a high level of service to our community, and with the help of our citizens, we will continue to be successful.

SPECIAL GUESTS

Sophia Choi, Channel 2 Action News anchor

Choi anchors Channel 2 Action News Saturday and Sunday AM and is a general assignment reporter for Channel 2 Action News.

Doug Turnbull, WSB Traffic Team

Turnbull is the lead p.m. drive anchor for “Triple Team Traffic” in the WSB Skycopter and is the WSB Traffic Team manager of operations. Turnbull also writes the weekly “Gridlock Guy” column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and on wsbradio.com.

Katerina Rozmajzl, Miss Georgia

Rozmajzl, 21, is studying to obtain a master’s of accountancy and CPA to operate and expand her company, Katerina Cosmetics. Katerina is an ambassador for Kiva, where she helps fund, support and mentor individuals who do not have access to financial loans to start their own businesses.

Laura Nida Allison, American Beauties National Elite 2019

Allison, 55, of Buford, Georgia, is the mother of 10 children, ages 15-35. She is in the financial and retirement industry and has put much of her focus on women, teaching educational workshops on the basics of financial and retirement planning.

Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps

Founded in 1976 as a nonprofit youth performing arts education organization based in Atlanta. The primary objective of Spirit of Atlanta is to provide challenging, high-quality programs for youth through a positive environment that emphasizes character and social development, leadership, self-discipline, and the pursuit of excellence.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond

DeKalb County Fire Chief Darnell Fullum

SPECIAL FLOATS AND MUSIC

Special floats and vehicles this year include: Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and the Nocturnal Pirates of Atlanta.

Marching bands and musicians in the parade include: Atholl Highlanders Bagpipes; Atlanta Drum Academy; Dunwoody High School Marching Band; Georgia Sensation Chorus; Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps.

DONATIONS

Eyeglasses collection

Bring your used eyeglasses to the parade for recycling! Fifteen international youth ambassadors attending the Georgia Lions Youth Exchange Camp will march in with the Atlanta Lions Club. Look for the colorful flags of the world as the students will be parading with their national flags, along with eyeglass collection boxes. If you’d like us to pick up your eyeglasses, contact Becky Jarrell at beckyjarrell@gmail.com or 770-355-7726. You can also find Lions Eyeglass Collection Boxes at Dunwoody businesses and pools in July.

Food pantry collection

Dunwoody Boy Scout Troop 764 will be pushing shopping carts along the parade route, collecting food donations for the Community Assistance Center Food Pantry. Most-need items include canned meats and fish; canned pasta; canned vegetables; canned or packaged fruits; and cereal.

Adoptable dogs

LifeLine Animal Project is the beneficiary of an event organized by local Girl Scout Sophia Sparks, who will have adoptable dogs in the parade, and an informational tent and a portrait photo booth for attendees and their dogs at the festival. Photos will be $15. Monetary donations for the DeKalb County Animal Shelter also will be accepted.

PARADE HISTORY

The Dunwoody Fourth of July Parade was founded in 1976 as part of the nation’s Bicentennial celebrations. It continued for five years under the leadership of the Dunwoody Woman’s Club before ceasing. In 1991, following the Gulf War, the parade was revived, by suggestion of Bill Robinson and Joyce Amacher, as a way to honor returning service members. With the sponsorship of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, the parade has been an annual traditional since that time.

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