Where are You Celebrating the 4th?

June 19, 2012

Martha Enzmann, a dedicated Small Town member of HIA and AWE member,  and the nonprofit Elkland Art Center put on a fantastic parade every year on the 4th of July. This year, come at 10:30 to dress up, (everyone can participate for free!) or at 11 to see the parade. Bring a picnic for after when you can enjoy lovely Todd and the French Broad river.

The parade is free, but couldn’t happen without the love and support of those who participate, so don’t forget to bring a little cash to help the lovely people who put it on!

Liberty Parade-An Epic Journey

Every year we get to build a parade in our own home community of Todd, NC on July 4th. This parade is called The Liberty Parade.  It is our mission to pull creative minds out of the community and into the parade.  It takes a community to make a parade.  About 300 participants and over 100 volunteers make up this fantastic event.  If we can get those who are walking dedicated to building the parade, Elkland Art Center has done their job.  During the Liberty Parade artists have been known to take home projects.

We have collaborated with local batik artist, Berkeley Brown.  It is our collective goal to make a parade with all of the elements as themes.

In 2011 we created Earth by using a gigantic cotton parachute.  We have three large, beautiful and majestic papier mache heads, peering out of the Earth.

In 2010 our theme was “Looking Deeper”.  We took a close look at the little (and big) critters that live in our river.  We made hellbenders and native fish.  That was an extension of our 2009 parade creation which was the element of water.  We built a 11′ tall water goddess as our big parade piece.

She has a papier mache head and is accompanied by many droplet outfits and water hats.

This year we are focusing on the element of air and next year we will complete the element creation with fire.  All of these parade creations will be batiked and guided by our dear friend Berkeley Brown.  After that, who knows what is next.  At a recent workshop we created dragon fly wings.  With air being our theme, it seems important to honor the critters that soar through the air.

Few things in life are as rewarding or gratifying as a big, beautiful parade- for people to see and for people to be in.  People who have worked on this parade get to see their creations scattered among nearly 300 happy faces.  This event is sure to live in the minds of all who attend for many years to come.


If you enjoy the parade, you can learn to create a Handmade Community Parade of your own with HIA’s Small Town Conversation. Martha Enzmann will lead this workshop from July 29th to August 3rd at the John C. Campbell Folk School. For More Information, go to http://www.handmadeinamerica.org


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