It’s Celebration Time!

The Fourth of July is often thought of a time for picnics, parades and most of all, celebrations.  It’s our country’s birthday, after all! So this week, we thought we’d look back at a collection of celebrations and community events.

In the upper left, we see how the area celebrated July 4 in 1909.  This parade took place on Trade Street – the main commerce road – in Jonesboro at the time. The J. Alton McIver Building on the right may look familiar to you.

Before this space to the right was used to build a J.C. Penney store in the 1950s, Steele Street was a popular destination for community celebrations, meetings and events, including an activity to celebrate the end of World War II in 1945.

How’s this for a community celebration?  It’s the first Lee County Fair, which took place in downtown Sanford near the railroad house, from Nov 13 through 15, in 1913. The fair was a yearly event until 1919 and then became more sporadic until the Sanford Lions Club assumed leadership in 1935 (and continue in that role today).

The mark of a great parade at the turn of the last century, was the presence of one or more horse-drawn fire wagons. In this parade on Moore Street from over 100 years ago you can see the Gurley Drug Store and the Stein Brothers building in the distance.

Finally … here’s a community gathering of a different sort.

A long line of young people are standing outside the Center Theater in 1952, waiting for entrance to see a popular movie. Judging by the part of the movie sign we can read, it’s possible the kids were waiting to see a scary movie called The Strange Door, starring Boris Karloff. The line stretches for as far as we can see!

Editorial content, pictures and research background, compliments of Jimmy Haire and Images of America: Sanford and Lee County, by Jimmy Haire & W.W. Seymour, Jr, available here for purchase.

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