Parade Lovers, Rotary Needs Your Help

When school lets out for the summer, thoughts for many of us turn to swimming pools, family trips, and the Fourth of July.

(ABOVE: 2018 Park Cities Fourth of July Parade. Photo by Chris McGathey)

As Kirk Dooley has said, Independence Day is the single best day of the year in the Park Cities.

But while some may begin looking forward to the parade as days grow longer and temperatures rise, members of the Rotary Club of Park Cities think and talk about it all year long.

I had the opportunity this spring to sit in at Cleve Clinton’s house as a committee considered potential candidates to serve as grand marshal.

Great suggestions came in from club members, former grand marshals, and others, making it a daunting task to pick just one honoree.

“What kind of person do we want as a grand marshal? In short, somebody who represents the community really well,” Clinton said recently, just before the club announced this year’s choice: Frances “Francie” Moody-Dahlberg.

Moody-Dahlberg, a Park Cities resident for three decades and executive director and chairman of the Moody Foundation, champions women’s and children’s issues and serves as a trustee for SMU, her alma mater.

The parade is the club’s most important event of the year, one that helps raise thousands of dollars for the North Texas Food Bank. The food bank can provide three meals for every dollar donated.

With contributions to date plus matching funds, the club has raised enough to provide more than 200,000 meals, but there’s still time for parade sponsors, participants, and watchers to contribute more. Visit

Another way residents can help is by paying special attention on July 4 to stay safe.

The parade, despite memorable mishaps with a tank and the foolish use of barbecue grills on some floats, has a mostly-safe track record.

Officials for Highland Park, University Park, and Rotary want to keep it that way, so please follow these instructions:

Remain clear of the entire roadway along the parade route, leaving the entire street, curb to curb, open for the use of the parade participants to ensure a safe buffer zone as large floats and groups attempt to navigate the streets, corners, etc.

Do not enter the road or let children enter the roadway to retrieve candy or for any other reason.

Be considerate and understanding if contacted by police or Rotary parade workers along the route. They have your best interests in mind.

See you on July Fourth.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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