by Megan Schiffres
In recognition of her family’s local heritage, Anita Barnes, 71, will serve as grand marshal of the Reedville Independence Day Parade at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 7.
The great-granddaughter of the first girl born in Reedville in 1877, Minerva Toulson Haynie, Barnes has lived in Reedville her entire life and has worked most of that time as a nurse at Bon Secours Rappahannock General Hospital.
“When I was growing up, that was a fantasyland, to live in Reedville. It was just wonderful,” said Barnes. “You just were not afraid of anything, you’d play through the whole town.”
Barnes was the first cardiac tech in Northumberland County, where she also volunteers with the county rescue squad. After 37 years of working in the emergency room, Barnes recently retired, but she continues to serve her community and apply her nursing skills through volunteering.
“Now that I’m retired I have big hopes for the future,” Barnes said. “I’m just real happy to do it because I’m almost lost without that ER. I miss saving lives and turning people’s lives around and just caring for people.”
She volunteers at the Northern Neck Free Health Clinic, Meals on Wheels and a food bank. Volunteering for these organizations gives her the opportunity to do the kind of hands-on health care she misses most about her job, said Barnes.
“Especially Meals on Wheels, the people are so wonderful. The people you bring meals to, you get to know them and it just fills your heart,” said Barnes.
She has been attending the Independence Day Parade for years and says it’s become a tradition for her family’s Fourth of July celebrations.
“My grandchildren have been coming down from Northern Virginia to go to it,” Barnes said. “They look forward to it every year.”
Barnes will lead the parade in a convertible, accompanied by her grandchildren. The parade will begin at the Fairfields Volunteer Fire Department, 119 Main Street, Reedville. Anyone interested in joining the parade should contact, Philip Keyser, 453-4100.
Longtime chairman Danny Haynie says this is the first parade he’s missed. He is still recuperating at his daughter’s residence in Mechanicsville following a stroke he suffered several months ago. However, he said the parade is in good hands with Keyser and crew. To contact Haynie, call 436-3233.
Festivities will begin with the Firecracker 5K Fun Run/Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday at Festival Halle, 177 Main Street.
The registration fee is $25 for adults and $10 for ages 11 and younger. Registration will continue until 7:45 a.m. on race day at rfmuseum.org, or walk up.
The race will be followed by a bake, T-shirt and hoodie sale at 9:30 a.m. at the Bethany UMC, 454 Main Street.
Kid-friendly activities including temporary tattoos, face painting, sack races, pie eating and a firetruck hose-down will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum grounds, 504 Main Street.
The museum also will offer cruises aboard the Elva C. and the Claud W. Somers. Advance registration for the boat tours is suggested, call 453-6529.
Music will be playing from 1 to 4 p.m. at the community gazebo, next to the church. Concessions also will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A fireworks display will be held after the parade at 9 p.m. over Cockrell Creek, with land-side vantage at Omega Protein’s old Morris-Fisher factory tall stack, 610 Menhaden Road, Reedville.
On July 8, the celebration will continue at Festival Halle where the Reedville Festival Chorale will present a patriotic and summer music concert at 3 p.m. The chorale will accept donations of non-perishable food for the Northern Neck Food Bank, or cash to support the chorale and Festival Halle.