Whether it was sponsoring fireworks displays, coordinating parades or hosting family friendly events, members of the American Legion Family led the way in commemorating the Fourth of July in their communities.
There also were non-traditional celebrations, such as a veterans walk and a blood drive. But all the events were geared toward one goal: celebrating the birthday of the United States of America.
The following are a handful of ways Legion Family members brought Independence Day celebrations to their friends and neighbors. If your post or American Legion Family hosted or sponsored a Fourth of July event, please share your story and photos with us via Legiontown.
In Payson, American Legion Post 147 hosted the town’s Fourth of July parade.
· In Los Angeles, American Legion Ronald Reagan Post 283 was one of the major sponsors of the Pacific Palisades Diamond Jubilee Parade. The parade included marching bands, local civic organizations, school groups, dogs and the 26th Mounted Operations Detachment of the California State Guard. Watch video of the parade here.
· In Healdsburg, American Legion Post 111 provided the annual fireworks display at the Healdsburg High School sports fields.
· In Larkspur, Twin Cities American Legion Post 313 continued a 69-year tradition with its annual pancake breakfast. Proceeds from the breakfast benefit Post 313 and Boy Scouts Troop 43.
In Westcliffe, thousands of area residents attended the annual Fourth of July Parade organized by American Legion Post 170.
· In Cape Coral, American Legion Post 90 brought the community together for a flag retirement ceremony that kicked off a blood drive. The post served free hot dogs and hamburgers during the afternoon, as well as providing live music. “Flag code states that you should properly dispose of and retire a flag. It's respect of our country and the honor that the flag serves for our country,” Post 4 Commander Keith Berres told Fox 4. “It shows both the end of the life of the American flag, but then we do the blood drive to honor those men and women we can save by giving our blood.”
· In Safety Harbor, Post 238’s American Legion Family hosted a parade along Main Street, which was followed by a patriotic ceremony attended by local and American Legion Department of Florida leadership. Free snacks also were provided.
· In St. James, American Legion Post 136 provided burgers, hot dogs and chips all day, along with live bands and then a fireworks display that evening.
In Canton, American Legion Post 45 hosted an Independence Day parade.
· In Sullivan, American Legion Post 68 provided Fourth of July festivities that included a family carnival, a parade, a watermelon-eating contest, sack and turtle races, and fireworks at dusk.
· In Clinton, Crang-Bennett Post 103 conducted a watermelon-eating contest, dunk tank and bicycle decorating contest, but also added a 2.2-mile walk/run with the vets.
In Cloverdale, American Legion Post 281 provided a fireworks display that capped a day of family friendly games and activities, as well as live music and food trucks. Children were able to play in three bounce houses, while adults were able to compete in a cornhole tournament.
In Mayo, American Legion Cummings-Behlke Post 226 sponsored an Independence Day celebration July 1 that included a parade, a cornhole tournament, food, face painting, live music and a fireworks display.
In Delano, American Legion Post 377 and Tuffy’s Pet Treats sponsored the city’s fireworks display.
In Washington, American Legion Post 218 produced the community’s Star Spangled 4th at the Washington Town and Country Fairgrounds. The event included the presenting of the colors, food, a kids zone with face painting, cornhole, frisbee golf and sprinklers, a live band and a fireworks show.
The Town of Candor celebrated its 150th annual Fourth of July, sponsored by American Legion Post 907. The parade was followed by a chicken barbecue where horseback riding was available.
· In King, American Legion Post 290 provided an all day, family-friendly, Americana-themed music festival at the fairgrounds on Main Street. Adults were charged a donation of $10, while children ages 12 and under were admitted free to the event, which included bands, bounce houses, a dunking booth, a video arcade trailer and fireworks.
· In Faith, American Legion Post 327 and Auxiliary Unit 327 teamed with Faith Civitan Club to put on the Rowan County Fourth of July celebration. The nearly week-long event included a parade, a street dance, rides and entertainment, and two fireworks displays.
In Little River, American Legion Post 186 staged its annual beach walk, in which members of the post are joined by the community in carrying 100-plus U.S. flags over eight miles of beach.
The walk included a ceremony with guest speakers; the flags are then carried to honor U.S. servicemembers living and dead.
· In Abernathy, Barton-Hood American Legion Post 500 and the Abernathy Volunteer Fire Department put on a fireworks show for the community.
· In Edinburg, American Legion Post 408 served free hot dogs and chips, and provided a fireworks display.
· In Taylor, Graham D. Luhn Post 39 hosted its annual Fourth of July celebration and fireworks, which also included a parade and ice cream social. The post also used the event to collect fans for the community’s veterans, senior citizens and disabled residents.
In Superior, American Legion Richard I. Bong Post 435 sponsored the annual July 4th parade. American Legion Auxiliary Unit 435 also had a strong presence in the parade.