A revival of celebration

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The rain held off and a huge crowd filled up Apalachicola Saturday evening, as the annual Independence Eve celebration got back on track.

The parade from Lafayette Park, hosted by Franklin’s Promise Coalition and the Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast, was back from 2019 in fine fashion, with lots of golf carts and cyclists, led by Grand Marshall Anthony Taranto, a veteran of the city’s National Guard unit who was humble when asked about the honor.

“I can’t help it,” he said. “They asked me to do it.”

Riverfront Park was filled by the time the parade reached it, with the docks filled with tables for patrons. The entire event, under the auspices of Apalachicola Main Street, was entirely paid for by private donations.

“It was an outstanding turnout given the fact there was rain in the forecast,” said Main Street Director Augusta West. “It was pretty comparable to the previous year, in 2019.”

Following an opening prayer by Mayor Brenda Ash, the crowd enjoyed the music all evening by the Apalachicola Blues Authority featuring Bernard Simmons.

Two Florida State University students, Grace Lengacher and Cameron Casey, also sang, together performing “American Honey” and then her singing “America the Beautiful” and him singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” Gordon Adkins sang “God Bless America.”

Retired Navy Rear Adm. Mark Milliken, an Apalachicola resident, introduced retired Rear Adm. Paul Sohl, who offered the veterans tribute.

Ashley Pyrotechnics of Tallahassee provided an excellent fireworks display, while Wayne Thomas handled the sound duties.

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