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Pine Level Elementary to hold Red Ribbon Week parade

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PINE LEVEL — Pine Level Elementary School will celebrate Red Ribbon Week with a parade at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25. Students will walk the town’s streets cheering and displaying handmade pledges to remain drug-free.

The North Johnston High School marching band will provide the processional’s music.

“Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October throughout the United States,” said Abby Stephenson, Pine Level Elementary School guidance counselor and the parade’s organizer. “The movement began in Calexico High School in California in 1985 to commemorate the life of special drug agent (Enrique) Camarena who was killed by drug traffickers while he was on their trail and their multi-billion-dollar drug pipeline.”

At the heart of Red Ribbon Week are millions of youngsters celebrating the decision to be drug-free and Stephenson said the campaign is being observed at various schools in Johnston County.

“Our children need the support of their parents as well as the community to help them make the powerful decision to say no to drugs,” said Stephenson. “Rejection of drugs takes willpower and courage and the more support we give to our students, the more successful they can be.”

The parade will start on Herring Street at the bus parking lot and continue to West Pine Street, North Capps Street and end at the West Blanche Street bus parking lot.

Attendees can view the parade from the Pine Level Elementary, Pine Level Missionary Church and the Town Market parking lots. Those parking in the Town Market lot are asked to park as close to the road as possible as to leave parking spots close to the store for customers.

Visitors are urged to line up to watch the parade no later than 9:45 a.m., Stephenson said. In the event of rain, the parade will be held inside the school.