Movers and Shakers help make Liberty Day a huge success

Liberty Day 2010 was a great success. Hundreds of adults and children flocked to Columbiana to enjoy the two-day patriotic festival, which included rocking music, children’s carnival, Miss Alabama and Miss Shelby County signing autographs, Balloon Man, Cruise-In of antique cars, yummy food, more than 50 vendors, local artist Bonnie Atchison’s art show, a huge patriotic parade and the grand finale Saturday night at Shelby County High School — two great bands and “Fire in the Sky.”

This year, in conjunction with Alabama’s “Small Towns and Down Towns,” a historical marker was dedicated Friday night by Mayor Allan Lowe and parade Grand Marshall Sheriff Chris Curry to honor Columbiana, the county seat of Shelby County since 1826. City Councilman Tom Seale has been working since 2008 for this special dedication.

Liberty Day does not just happen. It is the combination of the hard work of many people and the financial support of many businesses, service clubs and individuals.

It takes a lot of money to put on such a huge festival.

Seale has procured the sponsors that have allowed the continuation of this yearly event that is funded by donations and not city money. Seale’s efforts and the sponsor’s generous response are critical to the continuation of Liberty Day.

City Clerk Gina Antolini is the glue that holds the day together with the backing of Lowe. Antolini is the chief of operations supported by city hall workers Fran Sammons, an organizational and detail whiz, was in charge of the vendors. Joanna Seale was in charge of children’s activities. Lisa Lively assisted as needed.

Liberty Day’s committee extends beyond City Hall to include Police Chief Lamar Vick, Fire Chief Johnny Howard Jr. and Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Lamb, who were responsible for traffic and safety, especially for the parade and fireworks. Councilman Dr. Stancil Handley was in charge of the car show and Councilman Jim Strickland was in charge of historical events. Allen Reynolds was indispensible to the day being in charge of power, logistics, streets and as an all around troubleshooter.

Stacy Walkup, executive director of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce, was the parade coordinator and also helped with publicity. Volunteers who assisted Walkup with the parade or as judges were Donna Smelcer, Brenda Frias, Billy Jones, Edwin Brasher, Tim Prince, Strickland and Columbiana Merchant Association member Georgiann Farrington.

A huge thank you goes to all the workers and sponsors who worked for months behind the scenes to make Liberty Day a success.