Hoskinses make Fourth of July parade in Crab Orchard a family tradition

July 06, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

The Hoskins family gathered on their wrap-around porch Saturday just as they have for more than 30 years for the annual Fourth of July parade.

This year their quintessential Southern Main Street house was decorated more somberly than in years past. Dr. Josiah Hoskins and his wife, the third generation to own the house, and their daughter, Patience, who will be the fourth generation, said they chose the plain God-Bless-America banners because of the war in Iraq.

They had a picnic lunch and later planned to watch the fireworks display, but at noontime the family was spread out with one of the vantage points in town for the parade.

Even with a slight rain shower, the parade did not disappoint. If it moved it cruised. There were dirt bikes, horses, fire trucks blaring sirens and even a golf cart with all-terrain wheels.


Taylor Simpson, 9, and her friend Laikeen Bradley, 10, sought shelter under a bank drive-thru while they waited for their favorite part of the parade - the all-terrain vehicles.

Bradley said the parade is part of their family tradition. Simpson was excited about the holiday. But what does it mean?

"We celebrate Independence Day," Simpson said.

But what is Independence Day?

"The Declaration of Independence is when we had slaves and we know they should have been freed," she said.

We'll give her half-credit.

The Emancipation Proclamation was the document that declared that all slaves in the United States were free. Independence Day is celebrated on July 4, the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. The document declared the colonies independent from Britain.

In Crab Orchard they celebrated the holiday on Main Street with baked goods, dogs and barbecue. As the last ambulance and horse trotted down Main Street, people joined back in the festival, and backed up traffic began to clear.

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