North Hills celebrates with parade

NORTH HILLS – Cloudy skies and light rain didn’t stop about 200 people in North Hills for the 15th annual Fourth of July parade.

Children, parents, a color guard and fury friends crowded the starting line of the parade at around 10 a.m. Thursday.

“Between 50 and 60 kids are here participating,” said Shea Wilkinson, one of the event coordinators. “The Sons of the American Revolution are carrying the flag through the parade.”

Wilkinson said the turn out was great considering the weather forecast and rain drops just before the parade began.

The parade grand marshal, Mary Weber, just so happened to be the woman who started the Independence Day tradition in 1998.

“It’s really about the children; it’s about community and it’s about honoring our veterans,” said Weber. “Giving kids an opportunity to express their patriotism, that’s what it’s really all about.”

Weber said her children were small when she decided to start the parade and are now in college. Her daughter, Lauren, attends Marshall University and her son, John, plays football at Colgate University, she said.

“Our first one we did was when this one was 4-years-old,” Weber said of her son, John. “I’m so happy to see this tradition continue.”

Color guard members included Sgt. Brad Fitz with the U.S. Marines, Sgt. Mark Straus with the U.S. Air Force, Petty Officer First Class Joshua Hively, Sgt. Gregory Zook, Sgt. Cory Souder, Sgt. Charles Taylor with the U.S. Army; Sgt. Jay Houser and Chester Griffey with the U.S. National Guard.

The Sons of the Revolution led the parade.

North Hills Mayor Bill Summers presented Waverly Volunteer fire Chief Terry Hefner with the town’s annual donation of $1,000. Summers said North Hills was also selected for an energy conservation survey by the Wood County Commission, Wayne Dunn was at the event on behalf of the commission.

Old Man Rivers collected food and cash donations for the first time.

Bag pipes were played by Carl and Jonathan Hanson and on bugle was Lauren Steed.

A new flag pole and honor stone were dedicated on Thursday, the flag pole was made possible by donations through state Sen. Donna Boley, R-Pleasants, the Bill Patterson family of Crestwood and an anonymous resident. The plaque was installed by Kirby Monument, Summers said.