At a glance
• What: 55th Annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade
• When: 10 a.m. Wednesday
• Where: Along Tribble Gap and Castleberry roads
• Cost: Free
* Tradition steams on. Go behind the scenes with steam engine operators.
Looking for an interesting way to celebrate the Fourth of July?
The 55th Annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, running along Tribble Gap and Castleberry roads through the downtown square to the Cumming Fairgrounds.
The local tradition features about 20 to 25 early 20th century steam engines, as well as many parade standards such as floats, children’s groups and politicians.
Cindy Hansard, the parade’s main organizer, said it should be a “big parade.”
“We’ve got about 11 antique cars, fire trucks and tractors,” she said. “We’ve got a couple of horses. We have about 11 businesses advertisers and about 33 different groups, teams, churches — they make up the majority of it.”
Since it is an election year, with the primary on July 31, she said there are also about 15 politicians scheduled to participate.
“Usually [election] years are bigger just because the politicians get in. And yeah, that makes it a little longer,” she said.
Hansard said anyone planning to attend should be prepared for the heat, which according to weather reports could reach about 96 degrees.
“Stay hydrated,” she said, noting that parade-goers may also want to bring earplugs since the steam engine whistles are loud and high-pitched.
She also advised arriving to the parade route early.
“People start [lining up] early in the morning,” she said. “It gets real crowded right in the middle of town and thins out a little by Goodson’s [Drug Company] and down toward the fairgrounds.
“Town begins to fill up somewhere around 7:30 [a.m.]. That’s when people start to gather in and it’s continuous all morning.”