NEWBERRY — The Fourth of July is right around the corner and with the Independence Day holiday comes the 16th annual Harper Street Bike Parade.
The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday with the street being closed off at 9 a.m.
Harper Street resident Michelle Long said that the parade grows every year, and she is anticipating growth this year as well.
“This parade is not just for Harper Street. People from Newberry and visitors who come to town because they have family and friends who told them about it. We have had people from Columbia come to the parade,” she said.
The parade will begin at the corner of Harper and Hunt Street, at 9:15 a.m. participants can begin to line up. Due to safety issues with children riding their bikes in the parade, cars and truck are discouraged. The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. with children and adults showing their patriotism.
“They will decorate their bikes, strollers, wagons, electric cars and golf cars. Others wear patriotic colors and wave flags along the street. The parade concludes at 1725 Harper Street for refreshments,” Long said. “A city fire truck is the grand finale of the parade and hooks up to the fire hydrant on the corner and sprays them. Quarters for Kids are collected and donated to the Newberry Fire Department to help them assist children who have been negatively affected by fire.”
The Harper Street residents encourage anyone with golf carts to either turn off Harper at the end of the parade or drive to Calhoun Street to leave room for the fire truck and the children.
Anyone who wants to bring snacks, like cupcakes, brownies, drinks, fruit or beverages can do so. Long asks that all refreshments are dropped off at 1725 Harper St. by 9 a.m., where there will be tables set up for refreshments.
The Harper Street Bike Parade began after Sept. 11, 2001. Kirsten Lindsay decided to have an Independence Day celebration for children in her neighborhood around Harper Street, so that they could be involved in showing patriotism.
“The first year, a few of the neighborhood children decorated their bicycles, rode down part of the street and had refreshments at her house. Due to word of mouth, not just the locals show up these days. Several hundred people show up and it grows each year,” Long said. “Families travel across county lines to be a part of the celebration. They can be spectators or participants.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.