A string of classic cars drives down Victory Way during the 2011 Independence Day parade. This year’s parade is scheduled to start at noon Wednesday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way, and will continue down Victory Way to Craig Post Office, 556 Pershing St.

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A string of classic cars drives down Victory Way during the 2011 Independence Day parade. This year’s parade is scheduled to start at noon Wednesday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way, and will continue down Victory Way to Craig Post Office, 556 Pershing St.

The makings of a fine Fourth

Parade, picnic scheduled to commemorate Independence Day in Craig

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If you go …

What: Fourth of July parade

When: Noon Wednesday, lineup begins at 10 a.m.

Where: The parade starts at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way, continues down Victory Way and ends at Craig Post Office, 556 Pershing St.

— Parade entry is free and is open until Wednesday. To sign up or for more information, call Johnny Garcia at 629-3345 or 826-2627.

If you go …

What: Fourth of July picnic

When: 1 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Veterans Memorial Park, next to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way

— The event is free and will include live music and children’s games. Attendees are asked to bring a dessert. Call Johnny Garcia at 629-3345 or 826-2627 or call Mary Walters at 824-2923 for more information about volunteering.

If the turnout for this year’s Independence Day parade is anything like last year, Johnny Garcia anticipates seeing a crowd.

At least 1,500 people lined the parade route last year, said Garcia, the parade’s organizer and chaplain for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 in Craig.

He wouldn’t be surprised if 1,000 or more spectators turn out when the parade begins at noon Wednesday.

“I’m kind of expecting this to be a big deal,” he said.

Parade lineup begins at 10 a.m. at the VFW, 419 E. Victory Way. Floats and individual entries will travel down Victory Way to Craig Post Office, 556 Pershing St.

There is no cost to enter the parade, and Garcia will accept entries until Wednesday.

“It’s open to everybody,” he said.

The parade is a joint effort between the VFW, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and the American Legion Post 62. The theme is simple — red, white and blue — and this year, Garcia is dubbing it the Freedom Parade.

“It’s for our freedom, you know,” he said. “It’s the Fourth of July.”

A picnic will follow at about 1 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, next to the VFW.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, baked beans, watermelon and beverages will be provided. Picnic-goers are asked to bring a dessert to share.

The event also includes children’s games and live entertainment provided by The John Wayne Band and several individual performers, Garcia said.

About 800 people came out for the picnic in 2011, and “I’m expecting a lot more people this year,” he said.

He’s not putting on the picnic alone. He’s receiving help this year from Mary Walters of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

“She has been a tremendous help” organizing the event, he said.

The Ladies Auxiliary members are seeking volunteers to help with games and serve food at the picnic. For more information, call Walters at 824-2923.

For more information about the picnic and parade, call Garcia at 629-3345 or 826-2627.

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