It’s another year and another amazing July 4th celebration with Cotter’s very own Tommy Hagan!
This year, Hagan’s special “lawn mower” parade featured a turn out of hundreds of friends and guests to his little slice of County Road 703.
Floats, tricked-out cars, firetrucks, motorcycles, bicycles and more rolled through the Denton Ferry neighborhood as Hagan and friends handed out beers to those watching from the side of the road.
Hagan even managed to secure a series of flyovers by local pilots for a second year in a row.
“I’m just so thankful for all the friends, associates, and people that come together on a situation like this, on a holiday to celebrate our country’s birth and have such a good time. Thank you, Lord, that we’re able to do it,” Hagan said after the parade.
Since 2008, the boisterous and happy-go-lucky Hagan has taken to the streets with his highly decorated lawnmower in his tiny rural neighborhood and put on a Fourth of July parade that can only be described as “insanely genius.”
After the parade, attendees join Hagan at his home, where they sing patriotic songs before settling in to watch Hagan hand out made-up awards for his special parade.
While the parade initially started with a small handful of people, it has grown to include hundreds of people and up to 30-40 floats. To put on the parade, Hagan receives help from the local fire station. The station will bring one of their trucks and hose down the neighborhood’s gravel road to stop the dust from kicking up on the parade’s participants.
“This has been going on for 15 years,” Hagan said. “We’ve had a very good run. We’ve only had one year where we got rained out. That was the second year, other than that we’ve done really good, except for the hiccup last year.”
Hagan’s hiccup refers to the extreme heat during last year’s parade, which took its toll on Hagan, requiring him to receive a brief moment of medical assistance from nurse Lorie Walters and Cotter-Gassville Chamber of Commerce President Jason Nazarenko.
Hagan recovered from the heat and was able to carry on with festivities at his home. He gifted Walters and Nazarenko a pair of ferns for their help in last year’s heat incident.
“I could not have had better people take care of me. Love you guys,” Hagan said.
While this year’s parade was filled with fun, it did mark the first year that Hagan’s wife, Shella Hagan, was not in attendance. Shella Hagan passed away about nine months ago.
In May of this year, Mountain Home’s Salvation Army honored Shella Hagan by creating the “Shella Hagan Book Nook”. Hagan has served as a member of the Salvation Army’s advisory board in Mountain Home in years past.
A native Texan, Shella’s early life was marked by a pursuit of higher education, where she earned her degree from Southwest Texas State University. After marrying Tommy Hagan in 1966, she started her career in early education while working in San Antonio.
Shella and Hagan retired together in Cotter in 2006 and quickly became beloved members of Cotter and Baxter County. Together they have two sons and two grandsons.
Hagan and those in attendance honored Shella and other neighborhood friends that were no longer able to attend Denton Ferry’s annual July 4th tradition.