Thousands pour into Senoia for Memorial Day events
Senoia is no stranger to large crowds attending special events. But the city’s previous turnouts were far exceeded Monday by the thousands who attended the 5th Annual Senoia Memorial Day Celebration and Festival.
The day began at 10 a.m. on Main Street and every side street in the downtown area, along with businesses open for the occasion, was simply bursting with people.
The keynote speaker Monday was Col. Brent Bracewell, with the colors presented by the Falcon Field Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron 116.
The day’s invocation was given by Vineyard Community Church pastor Brent Anderson and singer Heidi Graves was on hand again this year to sing “God Bless the U.S.A.,” “Freedom’s Never Free” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The parade began at 2 p.m. and included more than 70 entries. Crowds spanned the entire length of the downtown area to get a look. And following the parade the 116th Army Band put on a concert at Seavy and Main.
It was just before 3 p.m. that the crowd was asked to participate in a National Moment of Remembrance, an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom.
And when 3 p.m. came the announcement was made. What followed is difficult to describe in words. People all over downtown just stopped where they stood, as if frozen in time. The crowd had thinned somewhat from the throngs that packed the streets for the parade an hour earlier. But there were still a mass of people present. And those people, easily more than 1,000 along Main and Seavy stood fixed in place where they stood, many with bowed heads. And for that moment a veil of respectful silence fell over downtown Senoia. It was remarkable.
Throughout the day, there was every imaginable type of food available. Activities for the kids included pony rides, train rides, sand art, clowns, games, inflatables, putt-putt golf and a fish pond.
There were more than 50 antique and arts and crafts vendors. Local churches and organizations sold baked goods, t-shirts and balloons.
There were military exhibits along Seavy Street, complete with black powder rifles, Army jeeps and Civil War re-enactors. There were veterans on hand to tell their stories. And Boy Scout Troop 49 passed out flags to the massive crowd.
The day’s many events wrapped up at the ballfields on Howard Road after sunset with the annual fireworks display.
“It was beyond our expectations,” Downtown Development Authority Chairman Suzanne Helfman said after the parade. “The weather held out and the crowd was respectful and appreciative of our veterans and their service.”
The Memorial Day events were sponsored by the Senoia Downtown Development Authority.