By Harley Nefe
A procession escorting Sergeant Christopher D. Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan S. Fox, who were killed in the line of duty on April 28, will be taking place this afternoon.
The procession will be leaving Winston-Salem around 1 p.m. and will be coming up Hwy. 421 back into Boone between 2 and 3 p.m. The route follows from Hwy. 421 into downtown Boone, turning right onto Water Street and going to Queen Street to the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home.
There is expected to be between 100 and 200 cars as part of the procession escorting the deputies back to town that will include marked and unmarked units.
Due to the number of cars expected in the procession, Queen Street parking is being blocked off to serve as overflow parking for the Austin Barnes Funeral Home. If individuals are parked in the upper Queen Street lot, efforts will be made to keep the exit from the lot open; however, there might be temporary delays exiting the lot between 2 to 3 p.m. today as traffic will be disrupted on King Street to accommodate the funeral procession.
Town of Boone Parking Staff will stop giving tickets at 11 a.m. this morning. However, they will still be walking downtown helping advise people of where to park and communicate what is going on. If folks have any questions about parking, please give the Town of Boone a call at 828-268-6229.
Multiple departments are assisting with traffic direction as the procession enters town at all intersections.
The attendance numbers of the event are expected to be large due to additional agencies joining in the procession as well as a call for the community to line the procession route.
The community is encouraged to line the highway out of respect, as the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office is welcoming support and condolences during this difficult time.
“We thank everyone for their support at this time,” said Adam Tyler Honeycutt, Administrative Assistant to the Sheriff. “We’re still in the process of getting everything put into order.”
In observance of the processional to bring home fallen heroes Sgt. Ward and Deputy Fox from Winston-Salem, many offices will close early today. The Watauga County Public Library will close at 12 p.m. in honor of the event, and the Watauga County’s Clerk of Superior Court Office will be closing at 1:30 p.m. Anyone having business with the Clerk’s office today should be there no later than 1 p.m. Also, Watauga County Offices will close at 1 p.m. and reopen as regularly scheduled on Monday, May 3, 2021.
Photos by Ken Ketchie: