CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hundreds of Charlotteans, along with many local leaders, celebrated America's birthday Tuesday morning in east Charlotte during the 49th annual Hickory Grove parade.
The parade, part of the city's holiday festivities, had some worried about safety in light of Monday's announcement in nearby Richmond County to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks display because of threats of gang violence.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were visible all along the parade route Tuesday morning.
Congresswoman Alma Adams was in attendance and said she wasn't worried about her safety because of all the officers.
There were noticeably many candidates running for local office that took part in the parade, including the those running for mayor, city council and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education.
Channel 9 asked Adams about security at the parade and the reason she didn't have private security with her.
“Unless it's a circumstance that we feel where we need to feel personal security, but we are always watching to make sure we are careful,” she said.
With all those high-profile people in attendance, CMPD officers were lined up along the parade's route from the Hickory Grove Rec Center to the Grove Presbyterian Church on East WT Harris Boulevard.
The parade, which wrapped up just before noon, was followed by a block party with live music, games and contests at the Grove Presbyterian Church.
“We have adequate security. We had adequate policemen circulating all of the time,” said Sen. Joyce Waddell (D).
For Judith Mitchell, a spectator of more than 30 years, the police presence never crossed her mind.
Mitchell was glad to see the local candidates out in the community.
“I think that’s what people should do when they run for office, because sometimes you don’t know who they are,” Mitchell said.
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