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story.lead_photo.caption File photoThe Independence Day Parade in Fulton in 2017 highlighted first responders and their role in the community. Retired Maj. Gen. Byron Bagby — a Fulton native — will serve as grand marshal for this year’s parade at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 4.

This year's Independence Day Parade in Fulton is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, July 4.

"Fulton was celebrating, but not as a community," said David Beaver, commander of American Legion Kingdom Post 210. "Families were celebrating, but we wanted a way for the community to, so we started the parade in the year of 2012."

The parade will start off by recognizing this year's grand marshal, retired Maj. Gen. Byron S. Bagby, who was born and raised in Fulton. Bagby attended Fulton High School as well as Westminster College, where he graduated in 1978 with a degree in economics. He then earned a master's in higher education at the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill in 1987.

Bagby went on to have a very distinguished career in the United States Army. He served as commandant of the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, and he has two Distinguished Service Medals, four Defense Superior Service Medals and the Bronze Star Medal.

As far as Callaway County goes, Bagby is a past recipient of the Westminster College Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award, a Kingdom of Callaway Supper Honoree and a member of the Fulton Public Schools Foundation Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the William Woods University board of trustees.

"Not too many communities the size of Fulton can say they have a native that is a retired three-star general," Beaver said.

Bagby was going to participate in last year's parade, but due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions put on travel, it was decided to push his visit back a year.

Along with Bagby, Beaver is looking to get in contact with all the World War II veterans he can find in Callaway County to be acknowledged as well at the parade.

"Being a veteran," said Beaver, "I think to most veterans the country's birthday means quite a bit to them. It's just a good time to celebrate the country and the freedoms we enjoy, and the freedoms a lot of us take for granted."

The parade is celebrating 10 years, but this happens to be the first year it will take place on a Sunday. In order to give everyone a chance to attend, the decision was made to move the starting time back.

Though the time has changed, the parade route will remain the same as the years before. It will start on 12th Street, then travel south on Nichols, a block down 10th Street and then the full length of Court Street ending at Memorial Park.

Anyone who would like to participate in this year's parade is welcome. For more information or to take part, contact Beaver at 573-220-7589 or Lori Dillon at 573-642-3334.

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