Columbiana prepares for Big Read Months and Cowboy Parade

Columbiana’s city council proclaimed February, March and April 2010 as Big Read months for the county and discussed funding for the second annual Cowboy Parade in their Feb. 2 meeting.

Jane Bailey, director of the Columbiana Public Library, shared with the council some of the events scheduled for the Big Read, a national program designed to encourage reading. Participants in Alabama will be reading “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and Columbiana’s kick-off event will be a mock funeral for illiteracy on Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. For a full list of Big Read events, visit Alabamareads.org.

Councilman Stancil Handley spoke about the upcoming second annual Cowboy parade which will be Feb. 20, and asked the city to cover costs for extra trashcans and portable bathrooms. Stancil said he expects as many as 300 horses in the parade, an increase from last year’s 81 horses, and wants to ensure that the city can provide adequate cleanup after the events.

Handley said horse riders have requested a longer route than last year’s three-blocks-long parade. Some riders have asked for a section of the town to be blocked off for the entire day so they can ride before and after the parade.

New events for the 2010 Cowboy Parade include a Wild West chili cook-off, and several ferriers demonstrating their horseshoeing skills. The Wild West shootout, herding demos, and lasso lessons for kids will be returning, along with several venders selling hotdogs, popcorn, peanuts, saddles, and cowboy hats, said Handley.

In addition to the Saturday parade, Columbiana merchants, professionals, and residents are encouraged to dress like cowboys to promote good community and cowboy spirit from Feb. 17 to Feb. 24, said Mayor Allan Lowe.

In other business, the council:

Unanimously passed a resolution opposing legislation to exempt prescription drugs from gross receipts license tax.

Unanimously passed a resolution to name Field A at the Columbiana Sports Complex.

Unanimously granted the request from public works director Hilry King to hire Larry Joiner as general street and sanitation worker effective Feb 8.