• There will be an Independence Day Celebration in Murphy on Tuesday, July 4, but the annual parade (shown last year) will only exist in the form of a golf cart run through town.

SCOUTING AROUND: Golf carts, but no parade for Murphy's Fourth

   Independence Day celebrations in Murphy will not include a formal parade this year. Mayor Bill Hughes said while people expect a parade on the holiday, it has only been a tradition in Murphy for about decade.
   Hughes said in the past, organizations like the U.S. Marine Corps League or Veterans of Foreign Wars organized the parade. Since no one stepped forward, because of the planning involved it’s too late this year.
   “The way it stands right now, it doesn’t look like there will be a parade,” Hughes said last week.
   For a parade to be held, the organization planning it would have to fill out a free permit and purchase liability insurance for the event. Both Murphy Police Chief Justin Jacobs and Hughes would need to approve the permit with their signatures. The organization would then receive a copy of the town ordinance for parades.
   Jacobs said he also would have to make sure he has enough officers to assist with traffic control. However, he already has prepared schedules for that day, with a majority working at night.
   “Given how close we are to July 4, I do not see how it would be possible for any organization to complete the process,” Jacobs said.
   However, all the activities usually held throughout the day at Konehete Park – from the peanut drop around noon to the fireworks display at “dark-thirty” – will go on as usual.
   “I think that with the other activities which are planned at the park, it will fill the void,” Hughes said.
   People who usually participate in the parade, like Jim and Nancy Seals, were disappointed when they found out there would not be a parade. The Seals said they usually decorate their golf cart and drive it in the parade alongside other Tarheel Drive area families and their carts. In past years, they’ve enjoyed the parade, throwing candy to the kids and the friendly cart-decorating competition between neighbors.
   While there will be no formal parade, Jacobs is allowing a small group of decorated golf carts to parade from 10-10:30 a.m. – starting at the Murphy Fire Station on Hiawassee Street and ending at the Red Brick Deli on Tennessee Street – with a police escort, Jacobs said the group already made plans in expectation of the yearly parade.
   “Especially on July 4, we try to be accommodating to anyone celebrating our nation’s birth,” Jacobs said. He advised the golf cart group of the town’s laws.
   Bram and Wendy Farbstein, owners of the deli, have agreed to judge the carts and hand out an award. The police will escort the golf carts back to fire station after they finish.

Dogs get water stop
   One downtown Murphy business has gotten even more dog friendly. The Daily Grind & Wine has dog bowls outside in a wooden stand that reads, “Our furry friends.”
   “I think it’s great,” said April Allen, who frequents The Daily Grind with her two dogs. She added that the eatery has always been accommodating to her pets. “We used to go in there and ask for water.”
   The dog bowls were the idea of Sarah Jenkins, who works at The Daily Grind.
   “We at The Grind have witnessed several customers with dogs and wanted to extend a little something to show that we care about the four-legged friends also,” Jenkins said. “The owners, Matt and Lane (Lowe), have always encouraged us to consider all customer needs.”
   She got a friend, Marc Narkawicz, to help her make the dog bowl stand. The bowls are now out all the time to accommodate both customers as well as passers-by.

Help needed for The Moving Wall
   Volunteers and donations are needed to prepare for the appearance of The Moving Wall in Murphy from Oct. 5-9. The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., that travels throughout the country from April through November each year.
   Volunteers are needed to assist visitors with tasks that range from greeting to answering questions about the wall. The memorial will be open 24 hours each day it’s here. For details on volunteering, call Pat Swanson at 361-0943 or email pswanson490@gmail.com.
   A variety of donations are needed, including refreshments, wreaths, medical tent and brochure design. Funds also are needed to pay for the display and other expenses, like security, food and lights.
   At least $5,500 is needed to pay for the wall. Donation checks should be made payable to “Band of Brothers Veterans Park,” and can be dropped off at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee County School Administration Building or mailed to P.O. Box 365, Murphy, NC 28906.
   Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.