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Kids' parade has become Durham tradition

Residents of Durham's Watts-Hillandale neighborhood celebrate the Fourth of July with a parade and reunion.

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DURHAM, N.C. — Hundreds of people lined the streets of Durham's Watts-Hillandale neighborhood Friday for a holiday tradition almost 60 years in the marking.
These neighbors don't mark the Fourth of July with fireworks, apple pie or even hamburgers on the grill. Instead, residents past and present gather for a simpler celebration.

The founders of the parade, Tom and Alice Walker, were looking to cure their children's boredom, when they read an article in a parenting magazine that suggested a neighborhood parade.

What started with fewer than a dozen kids has turned in to part parade, part neighborhood reunion.

"We have people who don't come back for Christmas, but they always come back for the Fourth of July," resident Tom Miller said.

"I think it's delightful," Alice Walker said Friday. "The children are so charming. I just love every one of them."


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