DALTON, Ga. — From the lettering spelling “Trump” on the side of her vehicle to the pennants on the bumper, Dalton resident Roberta Curtin said she decorated her vehicle the old-fashioned way.
“Six hours last night with glue and glitter,” she said. “It’s like being back in high school and getting ready for a homecoming parade.”
Her friend, Wanda Haught, disagreed just slightly.
“No, it’s better than homecoming,” said Haught, a Chatsworth resident.
The two were part of a number of local residents who took part in a car parade Tuesday night in Dalton to show their support for President Donald Trump.
“We are here to exercise our First Amendment rights, to support the president and to make our voices heard,” said Jon Langford, one of the organizers.
The event was organized through Facebook, which was how several people said they learned about it. But some people decided to join spontaneously.
“I was driving by and saw all the Trump signs and decided to see what was going on,” said Lamar Duke.
The parade was scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. But by a little before 6, the Bry-Man’s Plaza South parking lot held several dozen trucks, motorcycles and cars festooned with American flags, Trump banners, “Thin Blue Line” flags — blue and white American flags flown to show support for law enforcement — and Confederate flags, and the vehicles began to line up for the parade.
They followed a circular path north on Thornton Avenue, then east on Waugh Street, then back south on Hamilton Street. Some went all the way back to the shopping center, but others drove back west on Emery Street.
People lined the street all along the route, waving Trump flags and cheering the parade on.
Linda Newman stood on Waugh Street with her son Billy, 4.
“I wanted to come out here and support the parade and show my support for President Trump,” she said. “I don’t think he (her son) quite understands what is going on. But he’s very excited, and I thought it was important for him to see people standing up for their rights.”
Along the route, some drivers headed in the opposite direction held their hands out of the window giving the parade a thumbs up, or there was an occasional middle finger. One driver stopped at the red light on Waugh Street at Thornton Avenue briefly as the parade passed by to cheer them on.
Dennis Anderson stood holding an American flag on Hamilton Street across from the statue of Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston.
“I just heard about this this morning and decided to come show my support,” he said. “I back President Trump, but I think it’s important to support the president no matter who it is.”
The sound of horns from passing parade vehicles was still strong at 9 p.m., more than three hours after the parade started.
Another Trump car parade, organized by businessman John Dashler, is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 1, at 2:30 p.m. It will start near the Whitfield County Republican Party headquarters at 515 Benjamin Way.