July 1, 2013
The Monticello 4-H Club is going to be front and center this Fourth of July in Washington D.C. The group has the honor of leading the National Independence Parade on Thursday.
The club applied to be a participant in the parade thinking they would be carrying balloons but their role quickly changed.
Seven-year-old, Ivy Johnson, member of the Monticello 4-H Club, said, "I thought, Wow! What a big surprise!"
Stacey Johnson, volunteer for the Albemarle and Nelson County 4-H Clubs, said, "I did a double take at that. I have to go back and look at the paperwork again because I had no idea out club would be chosen to be the lead in the parade."
Come Thursday, seven Monticello 4-H club members and their parent volunteers will be the ones holding the opening banner and American flags at the start of the historic Fourth of July Parade in Washington D.C.
Ivy Johnson said, "It's means a lot to me because it is a very big honor to be the lead people to lead the parade."
Olivia Johnson said, "Independence Day by itself is about our country and freedom and all that. So, if we're going to be starting off the parade that celebrates that, it's pretty big."
Stacey Johnson said, "I'm not sure it's hit all of them yet, the importance of what we're doing and how big this event is."
The National Independence Day Parade marches about a mile down Constitution Avenue starting at the National Archives. The event draws thousands of spectators and represents groups and bands from every state.
Olivia Johnson said, "Representing Albemarle and Charlottesville 4-H is a really big honor really. It's kind of scary too. What if I mess up?"
One local group representing Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and Virginia in a big way at the national celebration of out country's birth.
The parade starts at 11:45 am on Thursday.