‘Red, White and BOOM!’: Columbiana readies for Liberty Day celebration

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Grab the calendar and mark it now.

For June 24-25, write “Red, White and BOOM!”

That’s the theme for Columbiana’s 26th annual Liberty Day celebration, a Friday night and all day Saturday affair featuring bands, beauty queens, exhibits, food and fireworks, among a slew of other activities for the whole family.

Festivities begin Friday at 6 p.m. with live music from TOTAL A$$ET$, a Birmingham-based band of bankers. Good times resume Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and end with a bang at 9 p.m. with fireworks and the Deputy Five band at Shelby County High School’s football stadium.

“As a city, we look forward to this event every year,” said Gina Antolini, Columbiana’s city clerk. “This is our opportunity to showcase the city and celebrate liberty as a city.”

Along with Friday night’s live music, the Shelby County Arts Council is hosting an artists’ reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to showcase the VSA Arts of Alabama Exhibit, which goes on public display June 1 and features selected artwork from people with disabilities.

Saturday’s events are also centered downtown.

Miss Shelby County and Miss Alabama will sign autographs at the corner of Main and College streets from 1 to 2:45 p.m.

The Red, White and BOOM! patriotic parade starts at 3:30 p.m. with the help of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce and Columbiana Merchants and Professionals Association.

To sign up for the parade, email Helen@southshelbychamber.com or soshelby@bellsouth.net.

“Liberty Day has never been more important in our lives and community than it is now,” Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe said. “This is a great way to honor our veterans, service members and how thankful we are to be living in the USA.”

Additional activities Saturday include a children’s carnival, Classic Cars Cruise-In, museum tours, military displays and a Hall of Memories at First Baptist Church.

Registration forms for the Mr. and Miss Liberty Picture Pageant are due by June 13 with a $30 entry fee. For pageant information, contact Sheila Finley at 669-3479, 281-0433 or chargermom1@gmail.com.

“This is a great time in Columbiana,” said Stacy Walkup, the South Shelby chamber’s executive director. “Bring your family out to this free event and enjoy a good time.”

For more information on Liberty Day, sponsored by M&F Bank, call 669-5800 or 669-9075.