By Jane Zeyer, Parade Chairman
It all started with a young family, a few left-over fireworks and a worried yet ever supportive mother and wife. This year the Melba 4th Of July Parade will be honoring Elaine Parry as Grand Marshal and remembering her husband, Atwell Parry, for creating a timeless tradition; the Melba Fireworks.
Elaine Parry recalls how it all started. It was back in the years when Atwell ran the Melba Store and happily ended up with left over fireworks. He brought them home, enlisted the help of their sons to light the short fuses, and together put on a small neighborhood firework show. What started on the street of their own neighborhood quickly became a town tradition as the firework show moved from their neighborhood to the Elementary school yard allowing for more viewers. “Oh, those boys loved it. Oh my gosh.” Elaine recalls her boys dressed in Fireman jackets lighting the fuses in the school yard, jumping over a few hay bales, and rolling away to safety, just as the firework shot off into the night time sky. They were always rewarded with the “ooh and ahhs” of those who viewed this early Melba tradition. Elaine said, “As a mother, I was always glad when it was over.” She loved that her boys and her husband could serve the town of Melba in this patriotic way and never imagined what it would become.
This year the 4th of July parade theme is A Star Spangled Celebration: Dedicate to the Melba Fireworks and those who made it possible. This small neighborhood firework show has grown to thousands of viewers and has become a legendary tradition that viewers far and wide love to be part of. This year we celebrate this time honored Melba tradition. We hope that all those who enjoy the Melba 4th of July festivities but especially the fireworks, will participate in the parade. Enter a float, an old tractor, vintage car, a 4-H project, a decorated car or bicycle. The parade begins at 10:30am. Judging is at 9:30am. Line-up begins at 9:00am at the intersection of Baseline and Southside Blvd. Go to Melba4thofjuly.com or call Jane Zeyer, Parade Chairman, at (208) 495-2241 for a parade application. There is never an entry fee.