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WJBD - Local News - Centralia Fourth of July Parade a Success

97-year-old Grand Marshall and World War II Veteran George Adams is given a motorcycle ride by a Patriot Guard member after the Veterans Day Parade.

Boy Scout Troop 260 won first place with their float '4th of July BBQ at Uncle Sam's'.

New Harmony Baptist Church took 2nd Place with their float 'God and Country'.

Miss Liberty Dana Watkins won for Best Marching Unit.

Centralia Fourth of July Parade a Success

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The cool weather brought out a bigger crowd Friday morning for the Fourth Annual Veterans Fourth of July Parade in Centralia.  The parade is put on by the Centralia Veterans Committee, with Wamac Mayor Butch Mathus doing the yearly lineup.

"It was a culmination of 40 entries...and a wonderful crowd who came out today. Tip of the hat to everyone who made this a success" said Mathus.

The parade was led by the oldest World War II veteran in Centralia, 97-year-old George Adams.  

"I feel wonderful. I've never had this before, and I thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the happiest day I've ever had, and I love people anyway" said Adams.

And Adams says he was proud of his service in the military.

"I was fortunate, and well blessed. I would trade nothing for the experience I had as a soldier. It makes you appreciate life, your home, and your country" said Adams.

Top float honors in the parade went to Boy Scout Troop 260 with their entry Fourth of July BBQ at Uncle Sam's.  The New Harmony Baptist Church entry 'God and Country' took second.   In the mechanized units, Wamac's Little Toot train took first and the Kaskaskia College Veterans Tribute decorated pickup was second.  Little Liberty, played by 6-year-old Dana Watkins of Ashley, took first place in the marching catagory.  The large 'American Flag' entered by the Centralia Elks was second.   

After watching the award of the trophies, Adams didn't let age stop him from taking a motorcycle ride around the Centralia American Legion Homecoming festivities in Fairview Park.  The events continue through Saturday night.   

Click here to see more Centralia Veterans Day Parade photos.

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