The history of 30A's Fourth of July parade

Hardy's 4th of July parade
Photo courtesy Didon Comer
Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 12:01 PM.

In October of 1994, I published an article in the “Dixie Living” section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was titled “Seasided: Planned Community in Florida puts an end to carefree way of life.”

The article was about the Seagrove Beach Fourth of July parade and how “Seaside,” the “planned community” next door, had taken it over.

Back in the 1960s or maybe the 1970s, folks at Seagrove Beach on the Florida Panhandle began gathering along the shore on the morning of the Fourth of July — before it got too hot. Then, in flag festooned beach buggies, they drove along the sand from one end of Seagrove to the other and back — a two mile loop.

That done, participants and spectators retired to various houses where they drank mimosas and bloody Marys and ate barbeque. 

When the road through Seagrove was paved the parade was moved there. Mary Frances — a woman in her 60s who could still get into her majorette boots (though not her uniform) — twirled her baton and led the marchers.

It was unorganized, unregulated, and unpretentious. Just grab something red, white and blue and join in.

In time the paved road got a name, “Scenic 30A,” and traffic began to pick up. As it did the Seagrove parade began to lose participants — no one wanted to get hit by a car on a Fourth of July morning.



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