Always one of the most popular events each year, the 46th Annual Cutler Bay-Whispering Pines 4th of July Celebration at Whispering Pines Park was once again a big success, drawing more people than ever.
“There were approximately 1.500 people, which was a little bit larger than last year,” said town manager Rafael Casals.
The event was started in 1967 by Louise Lockwood, an area pioneer who helped keep it going every year until 2011 when she handed the work over to Mark Zipay, Andy Moss, Fidelma Farinas and Jennifer Kelley of the Whispering Pines Civic Association.
The parade to celebrate America’s birthday always is sponsored by the Town of Cutler Bay, the Whispering Pines Civic Association and the Whispering Pines Woman’s Club. It is known for its participation by local groups, its homebuilt floats, decorated bikes and colorful patriotic costumes.
“I like the parade,” Casals said. “To me it’s the hometown crowd. I like seeing the neighbors there to say hello too. There are the impromptu floats and the golf carts. It has a great small town feel to it.”
As usual, the parade started at 9 a.m. and followed its route around Whispering Pines Lake, returning to the park about 10 a.m., where the rest of the activities took place. Boy Scout Troop 806 cooked the hamburgers and hotdogs enjoyed by residents, and there also were soft drinks, popcorn, snow cones and other treats available. The event featured live music, a water slide and a bounce house.
Sara Andrus, 11, sang the National Anthem, continuing a longstanding tradition of area youngsters with musical talent singing America’s keynote song.
Later that night, an estimated crowd of six or seven thousand people from all over the county attended the Miami- Dade County-sponsored fireworks spectacular that took place at Black Point Marina.