As the City of Woodstock prepares for this year’s July 4th celebration, we’ve been looking back at our past Independence Day parades and traditions. Although the way we celebrate July 4th in the City of Woodstock may have changed from year to year, one thing remains the same: Woodstock always shows its down-home patriotic pride.Remember when skydivers used to land in the middle of Main Street just before the parade, or when residents enjoyed hot air balloon rides and go-cart races? How about past grand marshals, including Corky Jones, Don Hatcher, Earl and Linda Mulkey, Chester Reeve, and Lillie Mae Brownlee? Do you recall when the fireworks were displayed at Dupree Park, the old Woodstock Elementary School field, or downtown City Park?
The official July 4th tradition started in 1997 with the celebration of Woodstock’s 100th birthday. Since the city charter was granted in 1897, the Woodstock Centennial Commission planned a year-round 100th birthday celebration, including the building and dedication of Woodstock’s Centennial Park, now called The Park at City Center. In 2015, the event name changed to the City of Woodstock July 4th Spectacular.