Retired Greensville County Circuit Court Clerk Bobby Wrenn and family didn’t disappoint once again this year. Wrenn and his family hosted their 52nd annual Fourth of July celebration for the community.
Yes, — 52 consecutive years. Not one missed, not even a rain out.
“It has rained a couple of times,” said Wrenn.
He did recall a time when they had to pause in celebration due to a downpour. Once the rain stopped the party resumed. Wrenn and his wife Ann and their children Randi and Bob, along with their spouses and children, host a neighborhood Fourth of July celebration, which has become a local tradition attracting more than 200 guest each year.
According to Wrenn each year the guest list grows with newcomers. For as long as most guest could remember there has been a fourth of July celebration at the Wrenn home.
“It’s what we do,” said Gloria Robinson. “My family and I have been coming for years now, it has become our family tradition to attend.”
The festivities began at noon. If you arrived by noon you will find yourself walking a block or two, given most cars belonged to those who is already present. As you draw nearer you can see a crowd of people outside. Most are dressed in their patriotic red, white and blue attire. Dozens of kids and adults are waiting, for their turn to take a ride around the neighborhood on the firetruck.
One can tell that Independence Day is very special to Wrenn. According to Wrenn he doesn’t just love the holiday it’s his favorite one.
It all began when he was a young boy growing up he would watch his mother decorate with patriotic flags and similar things. He and his wife Ann kept the tradition going within their own home. In anticipation for the Fourth of July the Wrenn’s had filled the backyard with American flags. Not just a few here or there but everywhere. There was a particularly large flag hanging from the second story window on the back of the house.
Wrenn takes little to no credit for the preparations he gives all the credit to his wife, children, grandchildren and friends as well as gratitude for continuing to help make it all possible.
For the celebration, there were hundreds of hotdogs, baked beans and gallons of lemonade, water and slices of watermelon. And lets not forget the amazing desert. The day featured group sing along of patriotic music followed by all attendees reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. One flag in particular has flown over the Betsy Ross House, Christ Church of Emporia, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Montebello, the Capitol of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia State Capitol, and the National Archives building in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Walker, Mayor of Charlotte Court House, gave an inspiring speech on the history and importance of the Declaration of Independence, while dressed in authentic Colonial Costume.
He was followed by Opera singer Leary Davis who sang the Star Spangled Banner.
“I love to see everyone having themselves a good time,” Wrenn said.
He hopes that this tradition will inspire others to do the same in their community to promote patriotism and an appreciation for American History.
First time attending the event Rich Slaghter accompanied by his wife Donna Slaghter both agreed that they were happy they came and thankful for the invite.
“This celebration has been going strong for more than 50 years, glad we could be a part of it.” Rich said.
It was a beautiful scene nothing but smiles and laughter. No worries, all walks of life, all opinions and differences set aside and every seemed to just be in the moment. All of this may seem very small town but that’s what makes it amazing. A day to join with others to take note of something special, just one of the things that make this country what it is.