Each year, Virginia hosts Truckers Parade Against Cancer in support of cancer research. Typically, the parade begins at a local school and thousands gather to watch as truckers parade down the highway before they are given lunch to thank them for their support. This year however, the parade is looking a little different due to the effects of COVID-19.
Because of the special role truck drivers have played in our lives this year, the parade founder is looking to honor truck drivers for all of their hard work in addition to supporting cancer research.
“These are all the people who have kept all the products in our stores we needed and kept us going through this pandemic. I think it would be awesome for people to come and hold signs and banners and things you have made to let the truck drivers know you appreciate what they have done. These guys are just a great group of people, men and women who have participated in this,” said Cindy Dixon, founder of the annual local event. “I do think that is a very important part of this and that way the truck drivers will know we do appreciate what they have done. When they didn’t have truck stops and bathrooms and places to eat and places to sleep, they were still out there and it is important we recognize this. Truck drivers have been very important. If trucking companies shut down like other businesses, we would have had a lot more problems in this world.”
The Truckers Parade Against Cancer acts as a fundraiser for the Relay for Life of the Twin Counties with all funds raised going to the American Cancer Society. Each participating semi truck boasts a banner in honor of somebody who has fought a battle with cancer, and the event typically raises about $10,000, making it one of the top fundraisers for the organization.
The parade is scheduled for September 19th and will begin at the Grover King VFW Post 1115 in Hillsville at 2 p.m. before making it onto US Highway 58 and traveling all the way down to Independence behind the old courthouse. Truck drivers will be provided with snacks in lieu of the traditional meal in order to comply with current coronavirus guidelines.
”We will give them their banner and snack and try to follow all CDC guidelines to keep them safe,” Dixon said to The Carroll News. “All volunteers will be wearing masks and we will do everything we can to protect people at our event.”
Dixon says that many businesses along the route will allow parking for spectators, allowing plenty of room for social distancing.
“If you do watch from a place of business make sure you don’t leave trash since they are allowing people to watch. That is a convenience for us and we want to thank them and respect them. Buy something like a drink or water to stay hydrated as the parade comes by,” Dixon said. “One other thing we would like to ask people is if you are out on 58 during the parade, to make every effort to try not to pull into and between our trucks so we can keep our vehicles together as much as possible because traffic does cause it to break up and people think it is over. We are not an event that throws candy to the children. It’s an event to honors those who have fought the battle, some who have lost the battle, and bring awareness to this in a way to have our truck drivers participate and be able to honor loved ones also.”
Anyone interested in having a banner in the parade will need to submit their information by September 1st. Anyone interested may call Dixon at (276) 237-1414.