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Dunwoody July 4th parade turns volume up, commercials down

DUNWOODY, Ga. — The Dunwoody Homeowners Association’s annual July 4th Parade this year will honor Dunwoody High School’s more than 50 years of educational excellence, officials announced this week.

The parade theme, “50 years of Wildcat Pride, celebrating Dunwoody High School’s past, present and future,” was announced at the HOA’s annual meeting Feb. 26, by event co-chair Matt Webber.

The parade will begin at 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 4, and celebrate both American independence and the students and educators that make Dunwoody High School great, Webber said.

Along with the parade floats, marching bands, clowns and animals, people should expect to see a “less commercialized” side of the event, with students riding bikes, teams from the high school and more of a “neighborhood feel.”

“Hopefully we're going to be able to bring a lot of the high school into the parade,” he said. “That's one thing we're really trying to do to make it younger.”

Webber and event co-Chair Penny Forman also announced Dunwoody High School Principal “Coach” Tom Bass and teacher Steve Fortenberry will serve as the parade’s grand marshals.

“They probably won't be at the front of the parade,” Webber said. “They don't like to be the center of attention, they like to be the center of the party, but they'll probably be back with the high school.”

Instead, another familiar face from Dunwoody High School may lead the festivities, Forman said.

“We might have the Wildcat mascot in the car that's representing all of them,” she said.

But regardless of who leads the parade, a huge turnout from the community and high school is expected, so they are already planning one big change – adding multiple large speakers along the parade route to broadcast music.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is getting a band, and a band makes the parade right,” Forman said. “If you don't have music, it's boring. So, that's what we came up with.”

More details about the parade should be announced by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association as the date draws nearer, but for now, officials say they are looking for parade sponsors, float entries and vendors.

For parade registration and more information, visit

Reach Alexander Popp at 770-847-7404. Follow him on Twitter @Popp2Alex.