Peace, Love, and Freedom: Sweet Land of Liberty Parade

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2022

On Monday morning, the Junior Service League of LaGrange held its 38th annual Sweet Land of Liberty Parade.

Leading the march was Grand Marshal, Greg Watts, the LaGrange Chapter President of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

“It’s not just me, it’s all of us,” Watts said. “Without these incredible people here, I wouldn’t be standing here now.”

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a volunteer organization that builds, assembles, and delivers top-notch beds and bunkbeds to children who are sleeping on the floor.

This year’s theme was Peace, Love and Freedom. Historically, the Sweet Land of Liberty Parade is known for its unique children-led march through downtown LaGrange. Many of the children either walked or rode on bikes, scooters or even in wagons, started at the entrance of the Sweet Land Amphitheater before walking down Ridley Ave. The procession then circled Lafayette Square where they were greeted by the cheers and applause of visitors and family members eagerly awaiting them.

“It’s a great day to gather here on the square in downtown LaGrange to celebrate the 246th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of this great nation,” Mayor Thornton said.

The parade stopped in Layfayette Square for Thornton’s speech celebrating the holiday, as well as bringing recognition to recipients of the Troup County’s Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty recipients and this years’ parade leader, Greg Watts, who was presented with a proclamation stating July 4, 2022 as “Greg Watts Day”. 

“We thank Greg for all that he has contributed to the betterment of our community,” Thornton said.

Following Thornton’s speech, the parade returned to Sweet Land Amphitheater, where awaiting the kids laid complimentary Kona Ice (Curtesy of Mayor Thornton) ending the day on a cool note.