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OUR VIEW: Help keep the JSL tradition alive

We’re guessing more than a few people reading this remember riding a bicycle or wagon through the annual Sweet Land of Liberty parade in downtown LaGrange.

The parade, which takes places every Fourth of July, is organized by the Junior Service League of LaGrange, and features children and non-motorized vehicles. It’s a fun way for kids to celebrate our nation’s birthday. 

Plus, nothing is more fun as a kid than decorating a bicycle or creating your own float. 

For many years, people have lined the square to watch all of the kids go riding past. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case this year.

Due to COVID-19, the parade has had to move to online and is in a virtual format. It won’t be the same as a normal year, but we’re glad the show will go on.

Since it can’t be held in person, JSL is asking people to post pictures on the virtual event page, which can be found at “JSL Virtual Fourth of July Parade” on Facebook. The pictures that best represent the theme, “Star Spangled Everything” will win monetary prizes.

However, based on the number of entries on that page, it appears not many people have submitted anything up to this point.

A lot of nonprofits in Troup County work really hard, and we try to highlight as many of them as we can. The JSL is no different. 

Each year, the JSL Attic Sale is one of the can’t-miss-events in LaGrange, with the money raised going toward a deserving cause.

The parade is the JSL’s other major event, and given the circumstances, the group found a way to try to have some sense of normalcy. We’re sure it would’ve been much easier to just cancel the parade. 

No one is happy about it, but we sure hope a lot of people participate. 

It only takes a few minutes to decorate a wagon, snap a photo and post it on the event Facebook page. The JSL has also posted ideas on how to get creative for the virtual parade. Choosing to participate shows COVID-19 that we aren’t going to be deterred, and supports a longtime, local event that relies on community support. 

When we first posted the parade was moving to a virtual format, many complained on social media, but we don’t think anyone is complaining now after the recent spike in COVID-19 cases we’ve had locally.

We urge you to do your part to support the parade, and applaud the JSL for finding a way to keep the annual tradition going.