The theme was “Greenville Lives.” Saturday, July 16 marked one of the best attended Gold Diggers Day parades in years, with floats and vehicles that seemed to go on forever.
“It’s so nice to see so many people,” said Taylorsville resident Dottie McDowell, “I kept getting tears in my eyes.”
Grand Marshall of the day’s festivities was Sue Weber who rode aside Tyler Pew. Weber has been instrumental in helping to get fire survivors’ needs met through her work with the Dixie Fire Collaborative.
All the way from Nashville, Tennessee, GHS alumni and singer songwriter Alicia King sang the national anthem as well as the song she wrote specifically for the Dixie Fire. Tears of pride and sorrow swelled the crowd. It was sometimes hard to hear through the makeshift sound system, but like Greenville itself, the event persevered.
District supervisor Kevin Goss emceed the parade and announced floats and vehicles from many local and county entities: US Forest Service, American Legion, emergency vehicles, newly acquired Indian Valley Fire Department engines, J&C Enterprises (which got huge applause for a flatbed trailer of Dixie Fire lumber), and so many entities responsible for getting Greenville back on its feet.
The parade route was changed this year as moving people down Main Street is considered hazardous with the few remaining walls from historic buildings and crumbles of brick that need to be preserved rather than trampled. The parade route instead went down neighboring Pine Street. All activity was on Pine Street this year.
In addition to the food trailer cluster know as the Spot on Pine Street, the Way Baby Bar Trailer made its debut as well this weekend. The beloved watering hole is back in action with new owner Kira Wattenburg. Indian Head Properties also moved over to Pine Street. Indian Valley Thrift Store will probably be the next business to move onto the street hub.
A good deal of volunteer sweat and gumption went into putting the day together. Christi Hazelton of Region Burger did much organizing to get the event off the ground. Rotary was there getting everything together for the day with volunteers at the ready. Randy Hovland contributed leveling out and graveling the lots used. Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce who provide the insurance for the event were on hand as well.
An old wild west looking “watering hole” was established to keep people hydrated in the 95+ degree heat.
Some vendors who’ve come in the past, returned for this new venture with some completely new vendors in the mix.
This year’s winners of the big raffles were Tyler Pew for the Suzuki Quad and Monica Hitson for the 50/50 raffle.
In the evening, the long time standard band SideFX played for the street dance and Mary’s German Grill and its newly restored trailer returned to make a dinner of German potato pancakes and a bacon packed slaw.
The Dixie Fire Collaborative provided meeting goers with food vouchers for the food trailers.
Still the most exciting part of the day really seemed to be watching as people who hadn’t come together in a year return to downtown Greenville with hugs and well wishes. Former neighbors catching up with each other could be heard up and down Pine Street.
Enjoy some photos of the day’s event.