Freedom rings at July 4 events in Millsboro, Georgetown

8 July 4 Unit 28 pledge of allegiance

Representatives of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 28 of Millsboro join in the Pledge of Allegiance during Saturday’s Happy Birthday America/Children’s Parade at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Labyrinth. Unit 28 members distributed free miniature flags to people attending the event.

SUSSEX COUNTY – The Fourth of July celebration of liberty, independence and freedom soared to new heights in Millsboro Saturday morning.

As participants readied for the annual Happy Birthday America Celebration/Children’s Parade, a bald eagle – America’s iconic symbol of freedom – soared majestically high in the sky over the Labyrinth at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

8 JULY 4 docents delcaration pat and julio

Dressed in colonial attire, Pat Dolecek and Julio Tijerina listen to the recitation of the Declaration of Independence on The Circle in Georgetown. They served as docents for tours of the Old Sussex County Courthouse on July 4.

It was the All-American backdrop to Millsboro’s annual July 4th event – established nine years ago by Dottie LeCates – which brought children and man’s best friend to the event hosted by the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Millsboro and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

In his invocation, retired minister Jim White noted the Declaration of Independence affords “each of us the ability to exercise” our freedom and liberty. His invocation also saluted America’s military that has fought to preserve our nation’s freedom and liberties.

Parade judges included Millsboro Mayor Bob Bryan, Vice Mayor John Thoroughgood and St. Mark’s member Jim Fabian.

Winners in parade categories:

8 July 4 KINGSTON getting ready

Andrea Brelsford and Paula Hocker of Morrisville Pa., ready Kingston, the Great Dane, for the Happy Birthday America/Children’s Parade Saturday in Millsboro.

  • Best Stroller: Levi Layfield;
  • Best Wagon: Makayla Proudfoot;
  • Best Dog: Kingston (a Great Dane);
  • Best Bike: Kaelyn Rogers; and
  • Best in Show: Carol Huston.

Trophies were provided by the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce.

Miniature flags distributed free to attendees were provided by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 28 of Millsboro.

Walgreen’s provided bottled water, the Millsboro Fire Company provided ice Sussex County songbird Cathy Gorman led the singing of the National Anthem, God Bless America and the Pledge of Allegiance.

“Taps” was played by Charlie McGuire, a member of the VFW District 4 Honor Guard which also gave a ceremonial gun salute in honor of the late Atwood Timmons, who had played “Taps” at Millsboro’s July 4 event the previous eight years. Mr. Timmons passed away this past February.

8 July 4 VFW honor guard emma fry al haynes

Emma Fry thanks Al Haynes of the VFW District 4 Honor Guard for his military service after the Happy Birthday America/Children’s Parade Saturday in Millsboro. Also pictured are Charles McGuire of the VFW Honor Guard and Nicole Fry.

Declaration of Independence

At high noon on The Circle in Georgetown, State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, led the recitation of the Declaration of Independence.

8 July 4 pettyjohn lee declaration

State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, shares information about the Declaration of Independence before a public July 4 gathering on The Circle. In the background waiting his turn to read a portion of the document is Sussex County Sheriff Robert Lee.

“There are many people in our community, in fact, that have never read, or understood what these founding documents are; what they mean to our nation and the start of our nation; or how we are the way are and where we are today,” said Sen. Pettyjohn.

Georgetown Mayor Bill West, Georgetown councilwoman Chris Lecates, Sussex County Councilman Sam Wilson, R-Georgetown, Sussex County Sheriff Robert Lee and Mitch Crane, chairman of the Sussex County Democratic Committee, shared in reading the document on which America was founded.

Sen. Pettyjohn, who plans to hold this event next year, said the hope is that by reading the Declaration of Independence in public, the community will be able to listen to the words written over 200 years and in turn have a better understanding “of what our Founding Fathers went through and why did what they did …”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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