Celebrating the PelhambrationPublished 10:45am Friday, July 19, 2013
By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist
The Pelham Beautification Board knows how to plan.
For Pelhambration, tables were assigned, talent was booked, shifts were emailed and all volunteers and vendors received reminders. Even with extensive planning, whether or not a crowd would come was something no one could know until Pelhambration arrived.
On Pelhambration morning, Pelham High School volunteers met my van at the curb. The kids were awesome—unloading everything and everyone who arrived. PHS school volunteers helped with setup and worked the tables assisting our feeder schools, vendors and kids’ events. The PHS Lit Mag Staff didn’t even try to peek at their newly unboxed magazines until we were ready for the crowd—and the crowd did come!
The sheer number of vendors was stunning. The entertainment was awesome. The planning award to Mosely Johnson surprised him—and Johnson usually knows everything.
“So many times I nearly let it slip. I’m glad I kept the secret,” Johnson’s wife, Linda, said.
Pelhambraton day unfolded beautifully. Helpful teenage volunteers relieved tired adult volunteers freeing them to enjoy delicious food, participate in the fun and take in the sites.
“We needed this—a celebration to bring us all together,” said Pelham City Councilman Ron Scott.
Pelhambration’s youngest visitors bounced, built Home Depot crafts, ate heartily and dunked Mayor Gary Waters, Park and Rec Director Billy Crandall and others with delight. Home Depot reported that over 800 of their craft build sets were assembled by children attending.
How many people actually came to Pelhambration? While an exact number is impossible to verify, we know that thousands attended.
Wesley Smithart from Union Springs attended Pelhambration as her first Pelham community event. Asked for her impression, Smithart said, “Pelham has a lot to offer. Pelhambration highlighted Pelham’s diversity. The event revealed how many different people came together to celebrate their community. Pelhambration was a perfect intro to the community.”
Planning for next year’s Pelhambration to celebrate Pelham’s 50th birthday has already begun. Enjoying our city and sharing it through a celebratory summer festival begins a fantastic new Pelham tradition.