July 3rd is early enough for East Texas celebrations - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

July 3rd is early enough for East Texas celebrations

Posted By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

By Jamey Boyum - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Flint Fire department led off the fifteenth annual Northwood Street Parade early this afternoon.

Diane Knowles got the idea from her grandparents when they lived out of state and says it gets more popular every year. "My grandparents did it with us in Sacramento, California," said Knowles,"In fact, they used to walk us around the block and so when my kids turned two it seemed like the natural thing to do."

Their parade wasn't the only game in town. Heines Drive in Tyler also celebrated Independence Day with a parade and even a picnic.

"We moved to Tyler about 15 years ago and before that we lived in Dallas and we always went to a parade in Dallas," says Heines Parade founder Bari Walker. "So when we came to Tyler there wasn't a whole lot for us to do with our kids and then when we got to this neighborhood ten years ago we got with our neighbors here and started this parade. New this year is a hot dog eating contest. So we have ten people signed up."

"I just won the 4th of July hot dog eating contest," yelled Waterson Calhoun. "I am…I'm going to Disneyland!"

"We have waterslides and then games for the kids," said Walker.

"Oh, I think its great!" said resident Don Smith. "We've been doing this for ten years now and it's great for the neighborhood."

"My wife and I brought our girls to ride in this very parade almost seven years ago when they were two and three years old," said City Councilman Jason Wright. "So now to be here riding in the parade as a representative of the city council is really an honor. It's probably more imperative now than any other time in our history that we should take stock as to who we are as Americans and what got us to where we are."

The festivities went on until around two or when the hot dogs and snow cones ran out.

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