Ruritan parade, fireworks takes place Saturday

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 21, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

The Holland Ruritans, the &uot;mother club&uot; of Ruritans across the nation, invites everyone to a parade celebrating &uot;Founder’s Day,&uot; an event marked by a parade and a full day of festivities beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday in Holland Village, just off Route 58 West.

Ruritan is a civic service organization made up of local clubs in small towns and communities, and their purpose is to create a better understanding among people and through volunteer community service, make America’s communities better places in which to live and work.

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The slogan of Ruritan is &uot;Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.&uot;

Club membership represents a cross-section of the community in which the club serves, and in Suffolk there are numerous organizations and many members will attend the parade.

The parade will be peppered with Ruritan dignitaries like Ruritan National President John Hancock who will be welcomed to Suffolk by the Holland Ruritans inside BB&T Bank.

&uot;The Ruritans deeply appreciate the graciousness of the bank and the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation for their great assistance in creating a beautiful atmosphere in Downtown Holland for the parade,&uot; said Donald Worrell, president of the Holland Ruritans.

Kicking off the parade at 11 a.m., will be the Grand Marshall, Congressman Randy Forbes, who will make a proclamation on this special day.

He will also be joined by Sen. Fred Quayle and several of Suffolk’s city officials.

Of course, there will be floats, including the Holland Ruritan Queen Tiffany Parker, a Ruriteen and a senior at Lakeland High School. Following graduation, she plans to attend Norfolk Naval Shipyard Apprentice School. She is the daughter of Pete and Nancy Parker of Desert Road.

No parade is complete without antique cars and there will be plenty of those memorable vehicles.

There will be six marching bands from the local high schools including Lakeland and Nansemond River, Smithfield, Windsor, Southampton County and Franklin.

No parade is complete without Boy and Girl Scouts parading their banners and the American Flag, nor can you have a parade without equestrian units.

This year, Wayne Castello brings his Happy Horse Equestrian Unit to show off their fancy footwork.

The Khedive Temple is always a showstopper in every parade they visit and when they make their appearance in Holland, it will be another great day of celebration for the Shriners and their Burn Hospital for children.

The Suffolk Youth Athletic Association will be on hand to offer hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue and beverages during the parade and later during the fantastic fireworks display.

That display will honor the founding of Ruritan, which took place in the old Holland Hotel in 1928.

The Ruritan National monument marks the spot on which the nationwide organization began.

Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. at the Holland Ball Field and everyone is invited.

There will be food and drinks on sale, and everyone is urged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to watch the fireworks.

The Holland District Cabinet is sponsoring the fireworks as part of the Founders Day Celebration.