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Parade this morning in Cumming
Festive procession is July Fourth tradition
steam
The 57th Annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade begins at 10 this morning in Cumming. - photo by Micah Green

If you’re going

The 57th Annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade begins at 10 this morning on Tribble Gap/Castleberry roads. The parade is free and open to the public. Those attending should be sure to bring ear plugs and sunscreen.

CUMMING — Hopefully, the thousands of patrons who enjoyed Thursday night’s fireworks display, dance contest and other festivities in Cumming got some rest.

The July Fourth festivities continue this morning with the 57th Annual Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade.

Beginning at 10 a.m., the longstanding Cumming tradition continues along Tribble Gap/Castleberry roads.

Cindy Hansard, a descendent of Glenn Thomas, one of the parade’s founders, organizes it every year. She said this year’s parade should provide more of the same family fun.

“We’ll have anywhere from 15 to 25 of the antique steam engines, plenty of floats, elected officials, different kids’ groups, and plenty of candy will be thrown out,” she said.

The steam engines, all owned and operated by local families, harken back to a simpler time.

Dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, the engines were originally used in agriculture and lumber businesses.

Since the late 1950s, Forsyth County children and adults alike have gathered on July 4 to watch the lumbering machines slowly make their way through downtown Cumming.

Hansard said anyone who has never been to the parade should be sure to bring ear plugs, especially for the little ones.

“I say that ever year, and every year people come up to me after the parade and say it’s just too loud,” she said. “Well, I can’t do anything about that.”

She explained that each of the steam engines produces a loud whistling noise as pressure is released from the steam chambers that power them. It’s similar to that of a tea kettle on the stove when the water boils, but on a much larger, more powerful scale.

Hansard also advised crowds to stay hydrated as temperatures are predicted to climb near 90 today, according to the National Weather Service. The forecast also calls for bright, sunny skies.

“People need to put on sunscreen and wear hats,” Hansard said. “We don’t want people getting too hot.”

Those wanting to get a spot from which to view the parade will also need to get there pretty early, Hansard said, since some people arrive 60 to 90 minutes before the  start. That’s OK with her since she loves seeing her family’s tradition continue.

“We’re just hoping for another smooth parade again this year,” she said.