Vol 6 No. 42 - July 12, 2006

Parade highlights fabulous Fourth of July

Emme Cate Beckman uses her own special set of binoculars to see the crowd watching the Fourth of July parade. Emme was riding on the Feely family’s reunion float.
By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer

A bright blue sky. Puffy white clouds. Red pirate bandannas.

It was another grand Fourth of July on Anna Maria Island, with everyone from pirates to kids to the family dog all dressed up in their red, white and blues.

With plans to hit the beaches and watch the rocket’s red glare of the Space Shuttle Discovery liftoff and the Sandbar fireworks later in the day, families biked, walked and trolleyed to Gulf Drive on Tuesday morning to catch beads, candy, and a glimpse of their friends on floats.

After the Island-long parade ended on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria, the Privateers and many of the float participants retired to the Sandbar restaurant for more festivities, including a reunion of torchbearers who carried the 1996 summer Olympic Games flame through Manatee County on its way to Atlanta.

The Privateers also honored 10 scholarship winners who rode in the parade:

Erica Hoggatt, $3,000 Whitey Horton scholarship; Kimberly Kuizon, $1,500 Dick "Red Dog" Cline scholarship; Austin Eason, $1,500 Greg "Shiprek" Davidson scholarship; Brittany Brookes, $1,000 Bridget Miller scholarship; sister and brother Deanna Stephenson and Brian Stephenson, $1,000 each; Elise Mundy, $500 Sandpiper scholarship; Nikki Donato, $500; Devon Glynn,$500; and Nicki Mauriello, $500.

The celebrations continued into the afternoon as the Discovery (or an airplane that looked like it) was spotted from the beaches on its way to outer space.

With the afternoon rains waiting until late in the day to cool things off for the fireworks, no one could have asked for a better 230th anniversary.

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