6/28/19: *Air Show and Rides Fundraiser have been Cancelled*

6/19/19: 2019 Parade Grand Marshals Announced

Sewanee’s Fourth of July Parade Committee is proud to announce that John and Bonnie Green are the Grand Marshals for 2019. John and Bonnie were both born at the old Emerald Hodgson Hospital. However, Bonnie’s parents left the mountain for Chicago, where she was raised until eighth grade, when she returned to Sewanee to attend eighth grade and high school.  The couple met at Franklin County High School and were married in 1958, their senior year.  They moved to Chicago but returned to Sewanee after a year. John was the produce/delivery man at the University Supply Store until 1969 and was the first Little League coach in Sewanee.  Bonnie worked at Emerald Hodgson Hospital in medical records before taking a position with the College Board.

In 1969 the College Board moved from Sewanee to Atlanta, and John and Bonnie followed them there. John worked at Overnite Transportation until his retirement in 1997; Bonnie worked with the College Board until her retirement in 1995. The couple loves to travel, especially to sporting events of their children and now grandchildren, and did so extensively for three years before returning to live in Sewanee in 2000.

Bonnie and John pride themselves on their volunteer work. Bonnie worked on the opening show of the 1994 Super Bowl in Atlanta, when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills.  She was offered a paid position with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta but chose to volunteer instead. She worked the opening and closing ceremonies in the costume department and still gets chill bumps when describing the experience. She is currently the treasurer at the Sewanee Senior Center and Golden Heights Apartments in Winchester; she also volunteers with Almost Home in Winchester. John is the go-to person if you need help with anything. They are both members of New Beginnings Church in Monteagle.

The Greens have attended every Independence Day celebration in Sewanee from its inception thirty-four years ago, except for one summer they spent in Alaska. They were in charge of decorating the leaseholders’ float for fifteen years, and Bonnie has held several volunteer positions with the Fourth of July Committee over the years.  We are honored to have them as the 2019 Grand Marshals.Please join us on Thursday, July 4th, to celebrate Bonnie and John, two of Sewanee’s finest!

6/1/18: Parade Update!

IT’S NOT TOO LATE to join this all-American, we’re-all-America, parade. You just need to submit an entry form by the end of the day on Sunday, July 1, by e-mail or in the jar at the Blue Chair. We can't guarantee that late entrants (day of) can be included in the parade, but if there's room, there will be a $20 late fee.

We are very excited about this year’s Parade, From Sea to Shining Sea. For everyone’s enjoyment and safety we are asking people NOT to park on University Avenue at all on July 4th. A great variety of floats and groups will be dancing, singing, reciting poetry, handing out produce and whatnot up University Avenue and it would be difficult for them to navigate through cars on both sides of the road. Parked cars also make it hard for spectators to get the full splendor of the spectacle! We ask for your full cooperation in this.

IF YOU ARE IN THE PARADE (first, thank you!) and want the opportunity for your creative labors to be recognized with a trophy or a blue ribbon, please line up no later than 12:30 pm on Lake O’Donnell Road. All entrants in the parade must be in place by 1 p.m. If you have submitted an entry form you will receive a number for line-up by e-mail or phone call the day before.

ALSO, We would love to have more bicyclists and equestrians in this year's parade! We have blue ribbons and medals for the best horse and the best decorated bike. Don't forget our theme: FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA (think pirates, mermaids, fish).

IT’S NOT TOO LATE to join this all-American, we’re-all-America, parade. You just need to submit an entry form by the end of the day on Sunday, July 1, by e-mail or in the jar at the Blue Chair. We can't guarantee that late entrants (day of) can be included in the parade, but if there's room, there will be a $20 late fee. 



Line-up will begin at NOON on Lake O'Donnell Road

Judging begins at 12:30 pm

All parade entrants MUST be in place by 1 p.m.

2018 Grand Marshal Announced

Sewanee’s Fourth of July Parade Committee is proud to announce that John Gass Bratton is the Grand Marshal for 2018. Mr. Bratton’s roots in this community range far and wide from reading, writing, and arithmetic at the Bairnwick School, to the Sewanee Military Academy (class of 1947), to economics major at the University (class of 1952), to alumni director for seven years, to the oldest surviving charter member of the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club, to the proud distinction of having never missed a concert of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival since it began over sixty years ago

Mr. Bratton was born in Texas but moved to Memphis as a young child. At age 8 his father died suddenly and the family moved to Sewanee where his two uncles promptly started building a home for their recently widowed sister and her children on South Carolina Avenue. Mr. Bratton remembers watching his uncle Henry Gass, a professor at the University and acting Vice Chancellor from 1948-49, and his uncle John Gass, a priest who would eventually become rector of the Church of the Incarnation where the Delano-Roosevelts worshipped, build this house in 1937, which has been inhabited by the Brattons ever since. After graduating from the college, Mr. Bratton moved to Charleston and worked on the docks as a stevedore, among other things, until 1969 when he returned to the mountain to become alumni director.

In the mid-sixties his mother had started taking in student boarders in their home on South Carolina Avenue—a practice continued by Mr. Bratton and refined into ritual over the next fifty years. Mr. Bratton guesses up to 150 students have lived in the upstairs apartment and The Cave down below. There were often four students at a time living in the house and the Sunday dinners were legendary. Students were expected to bring a date, a friend, a cousin for a real home-cooked meal around a set table. Mr. Bratton cooked all day for this command performance and privilege; no matter what, students were loath to miss a Sunday at the Bratton table. Many have remained in close contact with Mr. Bratton through decades, forever grateful for his friendship, generosity, and hospitality. In fact the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Scholarship to the University for a student from Grundy County has raised over $13,000 through the generosity of former residents of South Carolina Avenue and other university students warmly welcomed into the Bratton circle. This scholarship is now aptly named the John Gass Bratton Rotary Scholarship.

Mr. Bratton was the program chair of the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club for many years and kept the club alive during some challenging times when membership was in the single digits. Now there are over fifty members with most of the growth coming from younger recruits. The International Rotary Club was founded in 1905 primarily to eradicate polio, succeeding for the most part through vigorous vaccination campaigns worldwide. The Rotary continues to promote peace, fight disease, work to provide clean water and sanitation, and support education and local economies throughout the world. A dynamic crew, our local Rotary supports the work of the organization through fundraising while also handing out dictionaries to students in Franklin, Marion, and Grundy counties. It also bolsters the university’s programs in Haiti, which include sustainable coffee farming and free medical and dental care. However, one of its most longstanding and important contributions has been to provide scholarships for students from Grundy County High School to attend the University. This has been Mr. Bratton’s passion. These Rotary scholarships provide essential support that give young men and women the opportunity to better their lives and their communities.

When Mr. Bratton left his job in development at the University in the seventies, he left to serve a larger community in the alcohol and drug recovery field with Bradford Health services. He did this for many years until retirement when he could devote himself fully to this town, this mountain, this village, whatever we call ourselves. Mr. Bratton was president of the Sewanee Trust for Historic Preservation, president of the Sewanee Senior Citizens’ Center, longtime parishioner at Otey Memorial Parish, volunteer for the Community Action Committee, and, as mentioned earlier, an ardent and devoted supporter of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. If you’ve seen the statue of children in Abbo’s Alley, then you’ve seen Mr. Bratton forever young and at play. The statue was commissioned by Louis Rice for his wife on their anniversary and depicts Ellen Kirby-Smith Rice holding hands with her childhood playmates, Loulie Hunt Cocke, Louise Scott Lee, and John Bratton.

Please join us on Wednesday, July 4th, to celebrate John Gass Bratton, one of Sewanee’s finest!


2018 Schedule Details

Street Dance

The celebration will begin on Sunday, July 3rd, with the Street Dance at the Sewanee Market at 8:00 pm featuring Bad Nayber.

Sunrise Yoga

The Sewanee Community Center is hosting a Sunrise Yoga session from 6:15 - 7:30 am in Manigault Park. The class is free and for any level of yoga ability. Mats, bolsters, blocks and straps will be provided.The rain location is in Sewanee Community Center.

Flag Raising

The morning of the Fourth of July begins with music and song at the 46thannual Flag Raising at Juhan Bridge in Abbo’s Alley. Come join us one and all to sing patriotic songs accompanied by the Sewanee Summer Music Festival’s brass quintet and watch our local Scout Troop 14 raise the flag. Our sponsors, The Friends of Abbo’s Alley, will offer coffee and juice.

To complete the celebration, please bring your favorite breakfast finger food to share (or simply make a small donation). Mark your calendar for Tuesday, July 4that 8 a.m. for the 46thannual Flag Raising and potluck breakfast amidst the Smith, Gardner and Beaumont-Zucker homes at 139 and 143 Florida Ave. For more information or to volunteer to serve coffee or juice, call Margaret Beaumont Zucker at (931) 598-5214.

After the flag raising, the Sewanee Trust for Historic Preservation invites you to Leave Us a Sewanee Memory - you have 4 Minutes! Find STHP members in Abbo’s Alley after the flag raising to leave a quick story about people, places, or events in Sewanee. You will have another opportunity to participate at 11:00 am at the Folks at Home office.

Pub Run

Join the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly in celebrating their 41stAnnual Pub Run starting at 8:00 am. Runners will meet at the MSSA Front Gate and run to Shenanigan’s (6.4 miles) on the Mountain Goat Trail. Walkers may start at Dollar General. The fee for the run is $20. Pre-register at the MSSA Office or call 924-2286 for more information. All are welcome to participate. There will be awards for winners and beer at the finish line.

Arts & Crafts Fair

We invite you to participate in our Arts & Crafts Fair beginning on Wednesday, July 4th at 9:00 am in Shoup Park, where you can view the parade without leaving your booth, rain or shine. There is a $20 non-refundable fee and spaces are limited and pre-assigned, so sign up early. Contact Bracie Parker at <melaniebracie@yahoo.com> for more information and for your entry form. Come spend the day with us, sell your wares, and enjoy the parade and other fun activities.

Book Signing - Jon Meacham

The University Book and Supply Store is sponsoring a book signing with University of the South alum, Pulitzer Prize winner and #1 New York Timesbestselling author Dr. Jon Meacham to celebrate the release of his newest book, The Soul of America. The signing will begin at 9:30 am at the University Book and Supply Store and end at 11:00 am. The bookstore will have copies of the book available for purchase before the event (so pick up your copy in advance to save time), or you can purchase the book that morning. HEREis a link for more information about The Soul of America.


Vendors along University Avenue will begin selling food and drinks at 10:00 am.

Mutt Show

Enter your favorite pooch in the 2018 Fourth of July Mutt Show! All dogs are welcome to compete — no talent necessary. Registration for the Mutt Show will take place from 9:00 to 9:45 am in Manigault Park. The show begins at 10:00 am. Trophies will be awarded for these canine categories: Best Dressed, Owner/Dog Look-Alike, Best Theme, Best Trick and Judges' Choice. Entrants may register to compete in two categories. The registration fee is $5 per category, and all proceeds will go to the Fourth of July Fireworks. Audience members may contribute to Animal Harbor and MARC. In case of rain, the Mutt Show will take place in the Equestrian Center.

Children’s Games

Children’s games, including sack races, a temporary tattoo station (glitter, animals, fun shapes and more!) and bounce houses will be available from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Quad. Cash and checks (made payable to “Sewanee Fourth of July” will be accepted at the ticket booth.)

Leave Us a Memory

The Sewanee Trust for Historic Preservation invites you to Leave Us a Sewanee Memory - you have 4 Minutes! from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Folks at Home office just below Reed Lane and Sewanee Elementary School. The STHP wants to gather residents, visitors, former residents, relatives of residents, and anyone else who has a story to tell about people, places, or events in Sewanee. The participants in this oral history event will need to provide their name and signature allowing the recording for future use.  We hope those who “Leave Us a Sewanee Memory” will have fun telling their stories — and maybe they will want to have a longer interview with STHP members later in the summer - information on the Oral History program for the community and the Sewanee Trust organization will be available.

Pie Eating Contest

The 5thAnnual Pie Eating Contest will be at 11:30 am in Guerry Garth. A clean up area will be provided. Sign up early (the fee is $5) as there are a limited number of spaces. For more information call Gary Sturgis at at 598-5324 or 636-5294.

Cake Decorating

CALLING ALL CAKE BAKERS! Have a favorite cake recipe or a talent for cake decorating? Put your skills on display this Fourth of July by entering your cake in the Sewanee Woman’s Club Annual Cake Contest! Entering is free of charge, and the winner of the Best All-Around Cake gets $100 cash, courtesy of IvyWild.  But there’s more!

Adult winners of the Best Tasting, Best Decorated, and Best Representation of the Theme cakes each get a ribbon and $50 cash from IvyWild.  Under-13 winners of the Best Tasting, Best Decorated, and Best Representation of the Theme cakes each get a ribbon, a $5 cash prize, and a gift certificate to the Blue Chair for two ice cream cones.

Winners of the Best Tasting, Best Decorated, and Best Representation of the Theme contests will be entered in the Best All-Around Competition. Thanks to Ken Taylor for his ribbon sponsorship.

Show up to register and set up your cake between 9:00 and 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4thin St. Mark’s Hall at Otey Parish.

Winners will be announced at Noon.  All are invited to view the cake entries, and there will be a cake tasting party on site afterwards.  Enter as an individual or as a team.  One entry per person or per team.

Breslin Tower Bells

Also at Noon, The University of the South Guild of Change-Ringers will perform at Breslin Tower.

Music & BBQ in the Park

The Jess Goggans Band will be playing from Noon - 2:00 pm  in Angel Park. The Blue Chair will be selling BBQ.

See Sewanee’s Future

From Noon to 2:00 pm: See Sewanee’s Future at The Blue House. This will be an open house featuring the downtown development project plans. Take the opportunity to see the future of Sewanee and learn about the Master Plan for the additions to downtown Sewanee. This project has been in the planning stages since 2012 and is now on the brink of action with specific projects to vitalize the Sewanee Downtown. University Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Frank Gladu and Director of Implementation from Town Planning and Urban design Collaborative, Becky Timmons, will be on hand to describe the plan, the projects and answer questions. All are welcome including developers and investors who are needed to bring the plan to life. Learn more at

Carillon Concert

Raymond Gotko, Sarah Strickland, and Charlene Williamson will perform a Carillon Recital at 1:00 pm. Bring a chair to All Saints’ Chapel to enjoy the music.

Parade Entries

Parade Observers

PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON UNIVERSITY AVENUE. All vehicles must be moved before 1:00 pm to make room for the parade.

The Sewanee Fourth of July parade will begin at 2:00 pm starting at the Sewanee Market and will travel through town, turning on to Hall Street and ending in the parking lot behind the Hospitality Shop. All sirens will be turned off at Texas Ave.

Air Show

Weather permitting, the Air Show will take place at 3:30 pm at the Sewanee Airport.

Airplane Rides

Airplane rides will be available for adults and children after the parade until 6:00 pm at the Sewanee Airport. Parents must be present to give written permission for children ages 16 and under to ride. A $15 donation is requested.

Patriotic Celebration

The Sewanee Summer Music Festival students will perform a Patriotic Celebration at 7:00 p.m. in Guerry Auditorium.


After dark, the Fireworks Show will be at Lake Cheston. There will be a suggested donation of $1 to contribute to next year’s fireworks. Parking at the Lake will be limited to handicapped and special needs only.  Chief Marie Eldridge asks that if you need a handicap or special need parking pass for the fireworks show, please go by the Sewanee Police Station. Simply go to the window at the station, give your name, and you will be given a pass. If you have a permanent handicap tag you will not need a temporary one.