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Independence Day Parade returning to Dale City

Dale City Independence Day Parade

Written By: Whats Up Prince William

Here is the full transcription:

ST Billingsley: Hi, thank you for joining us today on Community Conversations for wpw.news. What’s up Prince William? Today we have Mrs. Ernestine Jenkins, and she is here to talk to us about the 4th of July parade. Thank you very much for being with us today.

Ernestine Jenkins: Well thank you ST, thank you for having us. And yes, we’re going to have a parade this year. The lineup will start at Kirkdale and Dale Boulevard, and we’ll end up at the commuter lot in Center Plaza.

Ernestine Jenkins: This year we’re not going to have a family fun day. I’m sorry boys and girls, but next year. But we are going to have lots of fun and lots of wonderful people and wonderful trophies and wonderful floats for you people to see, and I think it’s just going to bring the community alive again.

ST Billingsley: So the 4th of July parade’s been going on for quite a while.

Ernestine Jenkins: Fifty-one years.

ST Billingsley: Fifty-one years, that’s quite a long time.

Ernestine Jenkins: We celebrated 50 years, I guess it was the last year that we had it, yes.

ST Billingsley: The community really likes it. All the families come out. Dale Boulevard’s lined up one side, down another. So even with the, I’ll call it the COVID restrictions that everybody’s still dealing with, basically the businesses and organizations could all still make their cars and vehicles and parade floats.

Ernestine Jenkins: I know we have 11 organizations who are jumping up to the plate ready to have this parade, and ready to do all the work and have a great, great parade.

ST Billingsley: So anybody wanting to reach out to sign up to be in the parade, where would they go?

Ernestine Jenkins: Okay, if you did not receive a packet, we have sent out 320 packets. If your organization or you did not receive a packet, please contact Lisa Hicks and she will mail a packet to you. If you already have a packet, I suggest that you get it in as soon as possible because that way we can start working on line ups early.

ST Billingsley: Gotcha. So at the end of the parade, you’ll have a little ceremony as far as who are the winners of the trophies?

Ernestine Jenkins: Yes, we will have trophies this year. Oh, a lot of the churches participate. We’ll have church trophies, we will have band trophies. We already know that Garfield band will be there, and I’m sure maybe other high schools bands.

ST Billingsley: Oh, great.

Ernestine Jenkins: Yes, we will have many trophies. So please decorate, decorate your float and we’ll know how to categorize so that we can have trophies. The trophy, this year we’re going to have the presentation right near the viewing stands right in front of Comcast on Dale Boulevard immediately after the parade.

ST Billingsley: Oh, great. This is one of the largest parades in the area, or is it the largest?

Ernestine Jenkins: I say it’s the largest.

ST Billingsley: Who keeps trying to compete against Dale City?

Ernestine Jenkins: Oh, well should I say?

ST Billingsley: Sure.

Ernestine Jenkins: Fairfax City has a parade and they’re quite large, and a lot of people I think come to both parades.

ST Billingsley: Oh, that’s good.

Ernestine Jenkins: But I still think Dale City is the largest.

ST Billingsley: Well, I’ve never even heard of the Fairfax City parade, so Dale City must be the largest.

Ernestine Jenkins: Yes, must be.

ST Billingsley: Must be –

Ernestine Jenkins: ST, must be.

ST Billingsley: So another question as far as the parade goes, with over the years, what have you seen that makes it special for Dale City where the community comes to this?

Ernestine Jenkins: I have seen, I would say, thousands of people really, and I feel I can say that, of young, small children. There are larger, older children and adults just waiting, just waiting for that day and are so excited to wave and say Happy 4th, and I think it’s a community builder. Even people tell me, “Oh, I met so-and-so on the parade route, and we became friends and we’re still friends today.” So I just think it’s a wonderful community builder for our families to get together.

ST Billingsley: Oh, great. Well thank you for everything that you and John have done for the community. The 4th of July parade, I know it’s an icon. It’s one of the big events that, since I’ve lived here, that everybody always looks forward to, and I appreciate all the work that you’re putting in this year to get it kicked back up to make sure that it’s going.

Ernestine Jenkins: I think that it’s just going to be just a wonderful parade and I’m just so excited that we’re doing this. And I do, I do, I do. I know John Jenkins thought that the parade was one of the greatest things that Dale City did. His love was Dale City and all the people, all the community. He truly was a people person, and he just loved talking to people at that parade. So we’re going to miss him, but we’re going to have a great time this year and a lot of families getting together. I think it’s bringing the community and families back together.

ST Billingsley: Oh, that’s great. Well thank you very much for everything that you do.

Ernestine Jenkins: Well you’re welcome, and I love the community, you know that.

ST Billingsley: And thank you for joining us on Community Conversations on WUPW.news.