Liberty Day celebrates Sweet Home Alabama

Bonnie Atchison with First United Securities Bank Vice President and Branch Manager Edwin Brasher as Uncle Sam for the Liberty Day Parade. Atchison’s late husband, Harry was Uncle Sam for 10 years. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Columbiana’s Liberty Day is 26 years young and growing. It began as a celebration in 1986 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty and has grown beyond all expectations.

This year’s theme is Sweet Home Alabama. Indeed, Columbiana is a sweet place to call home with its exquisite Main Street, historic museums and courthouse, excellent schools, welcoming churches, dedicated leaders, devoted police, fire, rescue and city workers and active, civic-minded organizations.

Liberty Day Weekend starts on Friday, June 24, at 6 p.m. Main Street is transformed into picnic grounds with food vendors, a dance hall with “Total Assets” playing at 7 p.m., and a children’s carnival on Summer Classic Way and Balloon Man performing from 6-9 p.m.

The Shelby County Arts Council located on Mildred Street is hosting a reception from 6-7:30 p.m. to showcase the VSA Arts of Alabama, artwork by people with chronic illness and disabilities. The reception is sponsored by the generosity of City Councilman Dr. Stancil Handley.

On Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. will be: children’s carnival, pony rides, train rides, Classic Car’s Cruise-In, craft and food vendors, dunking booth, Hall of Memories at First Baptist Church, and Shelby County Historical Museum and George Washington Museum open for viewing.

Bands playing times are: Blank Stare Bama Boys (9 a.m.); Perkins & Co. (9:30 a.m.); Sexy Tractor (10:30 a.m.); Dream Makers (11:30 a.m); Hunter Lawley Band (1 p.m.); and Sidecar (2:30 p.m.).

The Blue Star Foundation will display their “Faces of the Price of Freedom,” in front of Handley’s office at the end of North Main. This poignant pictorial memorial of Alabama’s military who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives for our freedom, begins with Alabama soldiers who died at 9/11 up to present day.

From 1-3 p.m. under the white tent in the heart of town, the corner of Main and College, the newly crowned Miss Alabama 2011 Courtney Porter will be signing autographs with our own Miss Shelby County 2011 Megan Picklesimer.

At 3:30 p.m. Liberty Day’s “Red, White and Boom!” parade will lead off with Miss Alabama and Miss SC, along with community floats, fire engines, military representative and school bands.

Saturday night culminates the huge weekend at 7 p.m. with county band Deputy Five playing at the SCHS stadium followed by “Fire in the Sky” fireworks extravaganza at 9 p.m.

Wear your red, white and blue and come celebrate Liberty Day!

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at phoeberobinson@bellsouth.net.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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