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The Return of the High Point community Fourth of July Parade

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“USA Proud” is the theme of the 2023 High Point community Fourth of July Parade. This will be a festivity that marks the grand return of a proud community tradition.

The Highpoint community Fourth of July parade has enjoyed a 25-plus year history in the Hernando County community. The majesty, the pageantry, the music, and the fun of this patriotic event drew countless participants and spectators for its quarter-century run. But then, for a few years in the shadow of a global pandemic, the music and the cheers fell silent, the horses and the floats stopped running, and the streets were empty.

But in 2023, a group of High Point residents decided that this year there would be a High Point community Fourth of July parade. So, at 9 am at the entrance of this Brooksville-based 55-plus golf community, 12249 Club House Rd., the parade returns. As always, admission to the parade is free.

The leader of this effort, longtime High Point resident Dave Wermuth, is a neighborhood organizer and volunteer, one who accomplishes great things while dealing with what he considers a small challenge. He is totally blind. “One thing I always tell people is, ‘Don’t underestimate me,'” said Wermuth.

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Aside from his desire to preserve and restore a valued tradition, Wermuth sees the parade as a way to honor and recognize those who give all for our country. “This is the only 4th of July parade in Hernando, and so many people came out for years,” he said. “More than that, this parade is a way to honor our police, our fire, our veterans, our military.”

“We need to show our appreciation,” Wermuth continued. “This parade is our way of saying thank you. We need to have this parade.”

Back in March, when faced with the possibility of another year without a parade, Wermuth took action by joining the High Point Garden Club, which regularly hosts a beautiful float of flags and plants as a part of the festivity. “They told me they didn’t have an event coordinator,” he said. “I told them, ‘You do now. We can do it.’”

Dave and company have planned a one-mile parade route running from the community entrance to the clubhouse. “We’ll have flags everywhere,” he said. “We’ll broadcast patriotic songs, from the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ to Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA.’ At the end of the parade, we’ll have a flag presentation.”

Groups set to march and offer floats in the parade will include Veterans groups, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in cars, walking and riding horseback, the Hernando County Fire Rescue, county commissioners, residents of High Point in decorated golf carts and on bikes and motorcycles, the VFW, the American Legion Post 186, retired police and fire department officers, ROTC, community clubs such as the garden club, the golf club and the quilting club, local businesses, and members of the public that include Letty and Payton Lockhart of Spring Hill (child volunteers who spearhead a number of charitable efforts throughout Hernando County).

Philanthropic organizations also will be represented at the parade, including the High Point Lions Club.

Gwen Roy, High Point Lions Club spokesperson, praises Dave Wermuth for his tremendous effort in organizing this year’s parade. “He picked up the ball and got it rolling,” she said. “He has done so much for High Point.”

The Lions Club will be distributing waters at the parade, which will be followed by refreshments and a raffle in the Community Center; in addition, the High Point Golf Club will host a cookout. The raffle allows businesses to not only support this free community and public event but to promote their business to the High Point Community of more than 1670 homes. “The HOA will offer free hors d’oeuvres,” said Wermuth. “Hot dogs and other cookout foods will be available for a price.”

Even as Gwen Roy and others at High Point are thanking Dave Wermuth for making this year’s parade possible, he is expressing his own gratitude in return for their volunteer efforts. And he reserves his very special thanks for those who serve and protect our country. “This parade is for them,” he said. “We are USA proud.”

Photo from the 2021 High Point Community Fourth of July Parade. Hernando Sun File Photo.
Photo from the 2021 High Point Community Fourth of July Parade. Hernando Sun File Photo.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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