4th of July Parade
Dunwoody’s First 4th of July Parade
On Saturday, July 3, 1976, Dunwoody celebrated our nation’s bicentennial with a parade chaired by Gerry Spruill and organized by members of the Dunwoody Woman’s Club. The Honorary Grand Marshal was 88-year-old Effie Spruill Carpenter.
When asked how she felt about being grand marshal of the parade, Effie said “I don’t feel much like parading.” However, she agreed to participate as long as she didn’t have to walk.
In 1976 the parade route followed Chamblee Dunwoody Road from Georgetown Shopping Center to Dunwoody Village. Cecil Day and Mike Tilleman were Grand Marshals and Georgia U. S. Senator Herman Talmadge arrived by helicopter to give a speech.
A member of one of our community’s most notable pioneer families, Effie Spruill’s roots were firmly set in Dunwoody. Her parents, Calhoun Spruill and Mary Copeland Spruill, had a home on Chamblee Dunwoody Road where Dunwoody Commons is today. Her grandparents were Obediah and Salina Copeland and James and Millie Adams Spruill, both pioneer families of Dunwoody. In 1904, she married Ambrey Americus Carpenter and moved in with her husband’s parents, Owen and Amanda Carpenter. The Carpenters were also a pioneer family of Dunwoody. Their land and home was at the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Tilly Mill Road. Effie passed away at the age of 101 in 1989.
Other sources cited include: May 1976 Neighbor Newspaper; April 1978 Dunwoody Crier; “The Story of Dunwoody,” by Elizabeth Davis, Ethel Spruill, Lynne Byrd, and Joyce Amacher; and history recollected by Jane Autry.