William Hickey leads the parade up Estate Lane. Photo courtesy of Danny Meyer.

No one is quite sure when Lake Highlands’ Fourth of July parade began, but one thing is certain: 2020 will be the first summer without a parade in more than 50 years. The Exchange Club of Lake Highlands made the decision to cancel the community celebration with great regret.

“Last week my parade chair, Jason Edgerton, was informed that no permits are being issued for any large gatherings,” said ECLH President Gale Lewis. “While the decision was ultimately made for us, it still isn’t easy.”

Danny Meyer said the parade began in 1966 or ‘67 when his parents, Jeanne and Charlie Meyer, gathered neighborhood folk for a patriotic celebration.

“It started in front of our house at 9721 Robin Hill Circle and looped around Estate Lane and back,” Meyer wrote on Facebook. “The Grand Marshal was my grandfather, William Hickey, a WWI veteran in his 70’s who walked the entire route carrying the American flag. It started small and grew until we had the Lake Highlands High School Marching Band, horses and a Vietnam POW as judge just a few months after he had returned. His name was Jerry Singleton. The judges’ stand was the back ramp of our Pontiac station wagon.”

No decision has been made about the Exchange Club’s other big community event, Oktoberfest.

Jeanne Meyer stands on the judges’ platform at the first July 4 parade