This 4th of July, Lakewood will go for the gold.
The Olympics is the theme of this year’s neighborhood Independence Day parade, which starts at Lakewood Boulevard and Cambria at 10 a.m.
Neighborhood residents are invited to enter floats or march in the parade. No commercial entries are allowed. Participants should arrive at the starting point at 9:15 a.m.
The parade travels approximately 1.2 miles to the tennis courts at Winsted and Tokalon.
“It’s a big neighborhood picnic,” says Bill Duryee, a parade organizer. “Thousands of people come out to watch kids of all ages ride down the street.”
First, second and third place parade prizes will be given in the following categories: Most Creative Costume, under age 12; Most Creative Costume, age 12 and over; Most Patriotic, under age 12; Most Patriotic, age 12 and over; Best Theme Costume, under age 12; Best Theme Costume, age 12 and over; Best Non-Motorized Two-Wheeler; Best Non-Motorized Three-Wheeler; Best Motorized Vehicle; Best Musical Entry; Best Patriotic or Non-Theme Float; Best Theme Float; Best Children’s Float, under age 18 with no adult help; Most Humorous Entry; Best Senior Citizen Entry, over 65 years of age; Judges’ Choice.
Refreshments, music and the awards ceremony will follow the parade.
Before the parade, runners will warm up the route during the annual Lakewood Mini-Marathon Fun Run at 8 a.m. Entry costs $1, and prizes wil be awarded. Cost to enter the parade is free, but donations to cover expenses will be accepted.
The Lakewood 4th of July parade is a neighborhood tradition that began in 1962, says Duryee, who has participated since 1975. Each year, the theme is tied to current events, Duryee says.
“We try to pick a theme the kids can come up with ideas for,” Duryee says. “They’re very creative.”
A group of Lakewood residents come together annually to put on the parade. In addition to Duryee, this year’s organizers are co-chairs Micky and Jim Mayer, Scott Jackson, Jim and Sandra Hicks, Stuart Hendricks, Bob Brimer, Mike and Vivian Youdin, Vickie Thompson, Carol Hensley, Gary Weed, Kevin Caldwell and Joe Guffey.
Call 321-1197 for information.
Will Lakewood’s Dixie House Become a Black-Eyed Pea?
Will the Dixie House, 6400 Gaston, keep its name or become a Black-Eyed Pea? The answer to that question is up in the air.
This neighborhood restaurant is part of the 130-unit national Black-Eyed Pea chain, which is up for sale for $65 million to DenAmerica Corp. of Arizona, known for its large Denny’s franchise.
DenAmerica has until Aug. 31 to finalize its purchase plans for the Black-Eyed Pea chain from current owner Unigate PLC of Britain.
The sale would include the Dixie House and 25 Black-Eyed Peas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including the Black-Eyed Pea in our neighborhood at 5601 Greenville.
At present, there are no plans to change any of the Dallas-area Black-Eyed Pea restaurants from their current format, but it is uncertain if the Dixie House will remain as it is, says Dixie House General Manager Linda Stephens. It’s possible the new owners will convert the restaurant into a Black-Eyed Pea, Stephens says.
“They haven’t said yet if they are going to change us,” Stephens says. “As general manager, I strongly suggest they keep us a Dixie House.”
The Dixie House has been in Lakewood 19 years and is the last of its kind.
For the most part, its menu is the same as the menus at Black-Eyed Pea restaurants, Stephens says.
“I’ve tried to make us as close as possible,” Stephens says.
Stephens says the big differences are that Dixie House still serves homemade rolls, rather than rolls made from a mix, and Black-Eyed Pea restaurants have more grilled items.