Halifax Co. Residents Disappointed After Cancellation of Fourth of July Parade
Halifax Co., VA -Folks across Halifax County got quite a heartbreak when they learned one of their biggest events was not going to happen this year.The Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department has put on the annual Fourth of July Parade since 1980 and it draws thousands of people to the small town every year, but this year they say they don't have the sponsors or manpower to run it.
For Halifax County native Paul Bryan Dease, missing the Fourth of July parade is like breaking tradition.
"I was disappointed when I heard because we look forward to it, my kids do. I've been going myself since I was about ten, twelve years old, " Dease said, and he has plenty of company.
Local residents are turning to Facebook to express their disappointment.
Scottsburg Fire Chief Jay Reese says it was a tough decision.
"It's a two edge sword for us because we did enjoy it, but it is a lot of work, " Reese said.
The turnout was low last year after bad weather led to a date change, but in the past, the event has drawn up to 10 thousand people to Scottsburg.
"To me it was a wonder. It's hard to believe that many people would come here for something like that, " Reese said.
When that many people come around, the whole county sees an economic boost - something local businesses will miss this year.
"The economic impact is huge. Whenever you bring seven to ten thousand people to town, they're going to buy gas, they're going to stop at a convenience store. They may even spend the night, " said Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Pool, but for the fire department, their largest annual fundraiser wasn't bringing in enough money.
According to Reese, they have to spend thousands of dollars up front and last year they didn't make it back.
The parade may not be gone forever, but for people like Dease, it's not the Fourth without it.
"I guess it's just going to be a normal day, " Dease said.