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Freedom Rings parade in works
Pictured is a burst from the 2019 Freedom Rings Festival fireworks show at Freedom Park. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RINCON — The resumption of an Independence Day-related parade in Rincon is marching toward reality.

During a regularly scheduled meeting May 10, the Rincon City Council set a date for the Freedom Rings Festival and an accompanying parade that would be sponsored by Effingham Heroes Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to show support and foster community respect for first responders.

“What we had planned to do was have a parade and come up with a route that would actually take the parade and dump it into Freedom Park so that we get the parade and festival tied together,” Effingham Heroes President Susie Davis said. “Obviously, the more participants we have the more likely it will be successful.”

The starting point of the proposed route is Compassion Christian Church on Fort Howard Road. It then proceeds along Fort Howard Road and across Ga. Hwy 21 to Brentwood Street, which runs parallel to Ga. Hwy 21 in front of Kroger. A let turn there takes it straight to Freedom Park.

“If we do it on June 26, we could do the lineup at 8 a.m. and step off the parade at 10 and end up at Freedom Park.” Davis said.

City Manager John Klimm told the council that the Rincon Recreation Department, which conducts the Freedom Rings Festival, was agreeable to the June 26 date and a parade suggestion.

“I appreciate y’all wanting to start the parade back,” Mayor Ken Lee said. “It was a long-standing event for the city for a number of years. It just kind of got more difficult to manage and get parade participants but I know you have a great plan laid out to fix that.”

“It’s called Gussie Nease,” Davis said.

Nease, a strong advocate for first responders, is signing up parade participants.

The Freedom Rings Festival was nixed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In another item of community interest, the council cleared the way for First Baptist Church Rincon to host a June 3 farmers’ market in its parking lot. The event would feature locally grown produce and locally produced crafts.

“It’s free for the vendors. We are not charging them anything,” church representative Lori Sowers said.

Sowers also asked the council to OK a farmers’ market for June 26 that would be held in conjunction with the Freedom Rings Festival.

“I think it’s going to be interesting,” Sowers said.  

Lee expressed enthusiastic support for the effort and mentioned that a piece of city-owned property on Ninth Street might be a good spot for weekend farmers’ markets.

In other action, the council approved a request by Tractor Supply Company, 101 W. Fort Howard Road, for a Site Plan Amendment to remodel the interior by adding a pet clinic and wash room, the exterior by adding a garden center with greenhouse along with an enclosed storage area and drive-through for pick-ups.  

The work is expected to take 12 weeks to complete.

Before the meeting started, City Clerk Dulcia King was recognized as part of the 52nd Annual Professional Municipal Clerks Week. Lee read a proclamation in her honor and she was presented an arrangement of flowers.

“A lot of what Dulcia does is not evident to the public but it is evident to us,” Lee said. “She is probably one of the strongest stabilizing and supportive staff members that we have for our council and all the rest of the staff, too. I think John would say so..”

King was received approving applause from the audience.