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Spectators react to annual town parade

A handful of relatively new Farragut residents — including two families who recently moved from the California Bay Area — joined more established town residents in praising Farragut’s 19th Annual Independence Day Parade citing choppers, candy and community spirit as highlights.

These were among thousands of spectators lining both sides of Kingston Pike from the entrance to Farragut High School west to Farragut Towne Square Tuesday morning, July 4, to enjoy 95 parade entries during the 75-minute event.

After moving to Farragut from the Bay Area eight months ago, Dan Archer said his family was “anxious to come, it’s a small community event, it looks like a lot of fun.”

Joining Archer were his wife, Keri, and sons, Jackson, 2, and Connor, 7-months.

“The kids are having fun,” Dan Archer said. “We wanted our two-and-a-half-year-old to see the parade. He’s having a blast. ... The [Knox County Sheriff’s Office] helicopters were


Also from the Bay Area, Joe Brakovec said he and his family — wife, Diane, son, Joey, 5, and daughter, Lauren, 2 — were enjoying their second parade since moving to Farragut two years ago.

“It’s a nice small town atmosphere. We like it, the kids love it,” Brakovec said. “They like the balloons and the candy.”

Glyna Nunev of Farragut said her family enjoyed its first parade after moving from Texas.

“It’s been wonderful, we’ve really enjoyed it, they’ve been great to the kids,” Nunev said while accompanied by children Magdelyn, Heighlyn, Kieryn and Jordon. “They love all the stuff that they’ve been throwing out. The [Knox County Sheriff’s Office] did a great job throwing out these little motorcycles and toys.”

Determined to witness their first Farragut parade, Erin Stroh said she and her family — husband, Jeff, daughter, Kaitlin, 8, and son Parker, 4 — moved to Farragut from Atlanta five years ago.

“We’ve lived here five years and every year we’ve been out of town,” Stroh said. “I said, ‘we’re not going out of town, we’re going to take the kids to the parade this year.’ I heard wonderful things about it.” Stroh said Parker “loves American flags, that’s a big thing.”

As for what impressed Stroh the most, “This is bigger than what I expected. I’m from Atlanta, and this is a small town to me and this is great.”

Trent Taylor of Farragut brought a handful of family members that included a 2-year-old pug named Elvis the King.

“We come here every year, we want to celebrate the Fourth,” Taylor said, adding they are especially motivated “to see other people celebrate the Fourth, and how they do it.”

As for specific parade highlights, “We like surprises, and we like the different sports cars and the helicopters, and just whoever contributes,” he said.

Along with Taylor were his mother, Linda Taylor, nieces Morgan and Taylor Foy, and sister, Sherri Foy, “Who likes to hug all the Andy Griffith [imitators],” her brother added with a laugh.

Enjoying the family’s first Farragut parade, Johney Green of Farragut said the most impressive thing he saw was “the politicians and the interaction with them, it’s very refreshing. You get a different perspective on what you seen on the T-V and in print.”

Green’s wife, Tonya, said the couple’s children — Johney III, 4, and Lela, 18-months — “love the helicopters from the Sheriff’s Department, that’s been their favorite thing. I just love the candy, that’s been keeping the kids happy.

“And I just love to see the local community come together and enjoying this day,” Tonya Green added. “And seeing all the local businesses, to give a face to the business, that’s been wonderful.”

Larry Alber of Farragut said his family, which included wife, Cydne, and daughter, Kendra, have been parade regulars for “about eleven years.”

“It’s the Fourth of July, it’s the traditional thing to do,” Alber said. “We just like the community spirit, that people come out and enjoy it.”

Sam Venable, columnist and author from Farragut, served as grand marshal.

Sue Stuhl, leisure services director for the town of Farragut, said the 2006 parade was “a real mix of some very professional floats and sort of hometown floats,” and included “antique cars and floats by churches, communities and businesses.”

Stuhl said floats are generally arranged on a first-come, first-served basis, but the floats are also divided so similar floats, such as those created by businesses, aren’t clumped together.


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