Jerry Allen (far left), Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (center) and retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James Williams (far right) — All photos courtesy of the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands

Community Contribution

Following a rich tradition, the Lake Highlands community put on its annual 4th of July Neighborhood Parade, and this year’s edition was bigger and better than ever.

The 45-minute long parade featured floats and entries from area local businesses, neighborhood associations, and Lake Highlands High School cheerleaders, Highlandettes, and Wranglers.

In keeping with previous parades, area children and their families marched at the front.  This year’s grand marshal was new Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

The parade honored our country with the inclusion of retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James Williams and the several mothers of Lake Highlands residents who now serve in the United States military.

The parade ended in front of the newly renovated and reopened Lake Highlands North Recreation Center, where the carnival took place. This year’s carnival included local restaurants serving food, the water spray park, a rock wall climb, bounce houses, and pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids.

The crowd was entertained by the bluegrass sounds of the Bluestem Grass Band.

Adam Meierhofer, director of citizenship for the Lake Highlands Exchange Club put it best: “I heard several people say this was the first time their family had been to the parade and they really enjoyed all of the games and festivities, but even more was the sense of community they felt with other Lake Highlands residents. We really appreciate Ebby Halliday Realtors, Councilman Jerry Allen, and the city of Dallas Park and Recreation Department for all of their help in making this year’s parade the most successful ever.”

The Lake Highlands community responded again with generous donations of canned food to the Network of Community Ministries, which provides food for children who attend Richardson ISD schools and live below the poverty level.

“Again this year, our food drive was a success,” said John York, Lake Highlands Exchange Club community service director.

The Lake Highlands Exchange Club served the crowd 700 gallons of soft drinks and 20 gallons of pickles, donated by Wal-Mart.

“We want to thank all the participants, volunteers, and sponsors of this year’s celebration,” Meierhofer said.

An estimated 4,000-plus people attended the Lake Highlands 4th of July Neighborhood Parade and celebration.

Thanks to Robert W. Van Amburgh and Steve White of the Exchange Club for providing all the words and pictures.

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