The town of Patriot will hold its annual 4th of July celebration this Saturday, July 2nd — and highlighting the events will be a special dedication at the Patriot Memorial Park.
Mike Jones has been working for a year to fund and establish a monument in the park to honor those soldiers from Patriot and the Patriot area who lost their lives in service to their country. The monument was installed recently and is heavily covered, so that the unveiling on Saturday will truly be a special event.
The day will begin with the annual parade that will make its way from the Patriot boat ramp westward on State Road 156 to the middle of town at the intersection of State Road 250.
David and Connie Fisk, longtime proprietors of the Fisk Grocery that is a fixture in the community; will be honored this year as the Grand Marshals of the parade.
“As soon as the parade is over, people will gather there at the Flag Park,” Jones said. “The dedication of the monument will kind of be the main part, other than the flag replacement ceremony that happens each year.”
Jones will speak at the dedication, and he said that some other special guests will say a few words.
“I think there are a couple of family members (of those soldiers whose names are on the monument) who have expressed interest that they would like to make a comment, so I’ll probably open it up,” Jones said. “We’ve invited family members that we know of, of any of the military names of people on the monument to come and they are going to be recognized. I know that there are children of some, grandchildren of some. That will pretty much be the program.”
Jones said that there are about 15 names on the monument, and noted that there is space in the event that a name surfaces that organizers weren’t aware of — or if the unthinkable happens and someone from Patriot would lose their life in a future conflict.
“The monument is angled like all of the other monuments in the park are,” Jones said. “It’s covered — I haven’t even seen it. I figure everyone will see it for the first time at the same time. I think it’s going to be a good day for the community.”
The parade, dedication, and observance are only part of the festivities going on around the community on Saturday.
Registration for the parade begins at the boat ramp at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, with food and drink vendors being located at the four-way for everyone’s enjoyment. Vendors will be set up throughout the day,
The town will host live music at the four-way from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, with everyone encouraged to bring lawn chairs; and the evening will conclude with a fireworks display beginning at dark.