The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 4, 2013

Mike Pound: The bike parade will go on — count on it

I didn’t realize it until my wife mentioned it, but Wednesday night marked the 12th year of the annual Fourth of July Bike Parade.

My wife and Lana, who lives across the street, came up with the idea for the bike parade when our now 15-year-old daughter, Emma, was 4. Lana and husband Bill’s now 16-year-old daughter, Katie, was 5.

The parade, which actually never takes place on July Fourth, gives our neighborhood kids a chance to decorate their bicycles, tricycles, scooters and anything else they want. They ride up our street three blocks to the cul-de-sac and then back to the parkway in front of our house. Once the parade is over, the kids and adults gather for lemonade in the parkway.

While all of that is going on, I and a few folks in the know retreat to my backyard for an ice cold beer or two.

It’s your basic Norman Rockwell moment.

In the first year of the bike parade, Emma rode her bike with training wheels while Katie, who had just ditched her training wheels, proudly made it through the parade on two wheels. As a precaution, Bill and I walked behind our daughters to make sure they made it through the ride unscathed.

The next year, Emma and I spent the weeks leading up to the parade working on her two-wheel skills. In our house there is a framed copy of a column I wrote about spending Father’s Day that year teaching Emma how to ride her bike.

That year, Bill and I still walked behind Emma and Katie to make sure they made it through the parade without hurting themselves.

As the years passed, Bill and I stopped walking with Emma and Katie. As more years passed, Emma and Katie grew too old to ride their bikes with “the little kids.”

But the annual bike parade went on just the same.

I’m not exactly a brooding intellectual, so I don’t spend a lot of time reflecting on things. But I have to admit that Wednesday night, I spent some time thinking about those past bike parades.

I remember how excited Emma, Katie and their friends used to get before the parade began. I remember when Dick Ferguson used to be parade grand marshal. Dick was a heck of a guy and a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor who sadly is no longer with us.

But after he passed, the bike parade went on just the same.

I thought about Dick on Wednesday night, and I also thought about all of the other folks who were a part of the parade who are no longer with us. This year, three people from our street were absent from the parade for the first time. All three of them have died in the past two months.

Yet, the bike parade went on just the same.

As I watched all the kids on their decorated bikes line up Wednesday for the start of the parade, I realized that I don’t know most of them. But that’s OK. The parade, in a way, represents a sort of passing of the torch.

Those parents who lined up behind their kids to walk the parade, as Bill and I once did, one day will pass that responsibility on to a new set of parents who, hopefully, will pass it on to yet another new set of parents.

This year, my wife and I are teaching Emma how to drive a car. Soon, she will join Katie, who is already driving on her own. Wednesday night, when the parade was over and everyone had gone home, Emma, Katie and Kelsey drove off to shoot fireworks at a friend’s house.

After they left, my wife and I sat in our backyard for a while and then went inside to wait up until Emma got home.

I don’t know what the next year will bring, but I’m almost certain that no matter what happens, the 13th annual Fourth of July Bike Parade will go on just the same.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read


Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter