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No rain on their parade: Heflin turns out to honor senior graduates

Heflin parade.

A parade held Friday night in Heflin featured all of Cleburne County High School's seniors. Three of them hitch a ride on the back of a sports car.

HEFLIN An impending thunderstorm racing along Interstate I-20 could not dampen the enthusiasm of the hundreds of revelers lined up on Ross Street to watch a graduation parade of seniors from Cleburne County High School Friday night.

Lightning danced in the background as the 105 seniors rolled by in a procession of decorated cars and trucks, much to the delight of family and friends who cheered and waved as they huddled together.

The parade was a joint effort organized by the school, the City of Heflin, Heflin Main Street and the Cleburne County Commission as their way of recognizing the seniors and the adversity they’ve handled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Banners featuring a photograph with the name of each senior lined the parade route along with American flags put up for Memorial Day.

“It’s a little bit of normalcy,” said CCHS Principal Jeffery Bryant as he gazed down Ross Street at the large crowd waiting for the parade to start.

“It does seem weird  to see this many people in one place, I think it’s good for people to be out like this, get back to some normalcy,” Bryant said.

Heflin Mayor Rudy Rooks said it was encouraging to see everybody out on the streets again.

“I hope this inspires folks to get out and do a little bit more ... I can see families are staying together and they’re practicing the social distancing,” Rooks said. 

Amanda Biggers beamed with excitement as she waited for the parade to begin. Her daughter, Gracie, was in the parade and Biggers said the event was just what everyone needed.

“It means everything, through the pandemic and everything it’s just nice to have something and see everybody in town coming out supporting these kids, they deserve it, they’ve been so good through all this,” Biggers said.

Biggers spoke of civic pride as the siren of a fire engine several blocks down the street signalled the beginning of the parade.

“The city has truly stepped up and I’m so proud to be from Heflin, I love this town, I love these people and it shows truly what they think about everybody in the community,” Biggers said.

Tammy Perry, Heflin Parks and Recreation director, said the energy on the streets again felt great.

“That’s what our Heflin Main Street program is all about is seeing people out on the streets and enjoying all the things that Heflin has to offer,” Perry said.

The storm held off just long enough for the 20 minute celebration to finish before a deluge of rain fell — but not on the seniors’ parade. 



​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.