Exactly one month later, the city’s citizens, officials, and members of neighboring communities took to the streets of downtown Ringgold for the 36th installment of the two-day event (Friday evening and all day Saturday) filled with music, food, crafts, and fun.
“The city really needed a gathering like this,” said Ringgold resident Barbara Mills. “With everything that happened with the tornado, it’s great for people to get the chance to come together downtown and have fun and see the rebuilding efforts that are taking place.”
On a beautiful Saturday morning, just as folks began lining both sides of Nashville Street in anticipation of the parade, it was a special sight seeing thousands finding spots along the sidewalk in front of heavily damaged buildings, while the city’s honorary Memorial Day flags stood tall.
“It’s been a great turnout this year, and we’re happy to have so many people out here supporting the city on such a beautiful day,” said vice mayor Terry Crawford.
At a time when many members of the city are still trying to pick up the pieces in the wake of the storm that claimed eight lives, the resilient community was able to come together to enjoy the festivities, and perhaps put the memory of the horrible tragedy on the back-burner for a Memorial Day weekend.
“What the city has endured since the tornado isn’t something that’s ever going to go away,” said Daniel Shepard, Ringgold’s marketing and DDA coordinator. “It’s going to be with the city for a long time as the rebuilding process continues, which is why events like this one are important. It gives people the opportunity to support Ringgold, and it shows how much the citizens of the city care about their town.”