One of the more entertaining aspects of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships is the annual opening ceremony parade.
This year's spectacle is taking place in the village of Pinehurst on Tuesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. Highlights include an appearance by the 82nd Airborne Division Band from Ft. Bragg and the participants in the tournament joining in the World Championship Parade of Nations.
This year more than 1,300 young golfers from all 50 states and 40 countries will be the focal point of this annual event which involves a staging route of Carolina Vista and Ritter Road, leading to Chinquapin Road, with a grand arrival at the Village Green. The U.S. Kids Golf participants will pre-assemble along Carolina Vista.
Motorcycles driven by members of the Pinehurst police force will lead a USMC League Color Guard (Sandhills Detachment) and the Ft. Bragg Band.
A Pinehurst balloon will serve as the escort for Parade Grand Marshall and avid golf enthusiast Blaise McNair, 10, of West End, who is fighting a serious illness. Blaise will be joined in the Grand Marshall car by UNC mascot, Rameses. U.S. Kids Golf Founder Dan Van Horn and his wife, Jennifer, are also in a featured car, in addition to the Peggy Kirk Bell Award winner, Grace Chen of Sunnyvale, Calif.
Arlie Honeycutt, the 2012 Miss North Carolina, will be preceded by the Pinehurst Putterboy float.
The 2012 Miss Greater Sandhills Kensley Leonard and her Carolina Princess Karsen Corbett will lead other local queens and princesses including Rachel Brittain, Claire Sutton, Kenleigh Parker, Emma Harrison, Madison Hadaway and Ashley Lafell.
Bagpiper Peter McArthur, Pinehurst Mayor Nancy Fiorillo, the Pinehurst Fire Department, Sparky and the robotic fire truck will also be included. The Carolina Panthers mascot, Sir Purr, will greet viewers along the parade route, in addition to the Sand Ts of Moore County Miniature Model Ts.
With an entrance reminiscent of the Olympic Games, all young world championship participants will enter the Village Green proudly carrying the flags of their various countries. This parade of nations-style entrance will follow behind the drum line from the award-winning Union Pines High School Band.
A short program is scheduled after the arrival of all parade participants.
Pinehurst police will be providing assistance in traffic checkpoints around the main entrances to the Pinehurst Resort and Village Green along areas adjacent to N.C. 2 prior to the parade. Cherokee Road, Chinquapin Road and Village Green W roads will remain closed to traffic until 8 p.m.
People wishing to park and walk to the parade are encouraged to use lots at village churches. Concessions tents sponsored by local groups will be available.