For seventeen years the Rotary Club of Park Cities has put on the Park Cities Fourth of July Parade, which draws as many as 10,000 people who line the streets and who participate in the festivities in Goar Park after the Parade. NOT this year!
The Parade Committee, when faced with the COVID complications, created an all new patriotic event to celebrate the Fourth. The Plan evolved.  Our Parade Grand Marshals, Laurie and Jim Hitzelberger, were recognized, but will take part in the Parade as Grand Marshals in 2021. Residents were invited to compete in decorating their yards, with the winner receiving a “First Place” yard display. Yard displays for participating homes were provided by Balloons Everyday. Park Cities People published a map of participating homes in their July issue, and encouraged readers to send them their votes for “People’s Choice Award” winner. There was also a Community Spirit Block Competition; the winning block was awarded a block-wide pizza party. There was a Children’s Art Competition for children aged six and under, aged 7 thru 12, and aged 13 thru 18. The winners received gift cards. The Highland Park H.S. sports teams who usually decorate floats for the parade were encouraged, instead, to create a service project to benefit the North Texas Food Bank.
PicturedThe First Place Winner for the Patriotic Yard competition and the winner of the People’s Choice award.  Yes, they painted an American flag that covered their whole front lawn!
On the Fourth itself the day began with a patriotic video, featuring some of the highlights of RCPC’s previous Fourth of July parades and events. Then residents could drive around to view the decorated yards.  In the afternoon the winners of all the competitions were announced. Most important of all, including the generosity of our title sponsor, Oncor, and sponsor Frost Bank, as well as underwriters, State Farm-Kathy Walls and Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, the funds raised by the HPHS sports teams, and the individual donations, a total of $32,150 was raised for the North Texas Food Bank. When combined with the Food Bank’s matching partners, that translated into over 283,000 meals! A great day all around!
There were so many positive comments about the new activities, some of them will be continued next year, along with the Parade!  New traditions began, and established traditions will grow and be enhanced. Change happens; it brings opportunities.