Support smaller communities

Visitors to the Shelby Iron Park Fall Festival this past weekend were participants in one of the best experiences Shelby County has to offer.

Festival goers got a taste of life in the Civil War days in rural Alabama, witnessing the process of making cane syrup, blacksmithing and sawmilling.

Besides those throwbacks to olden days, visitors also saw all the fun parts of a typical modern small-town festival: a parade, antique vehicles, music, vendors and mouthwatering country cooking.

The Fall Festival was also a tribute to progress in Shelby, as locals got to see a new community building, which will no doubt serve as a gathering place for Shelby families.

The Iron Park festival simply reminds us that while Shelby County’s largest municipalities host many must-see events, our smaller cities and towns deserve local support for community gatherings and festivals as well.

This upcoming weekend, Montevallo kicks off Celebrate Montevallo Oct. 15 with the Montevallo Fall Market from 9 a.m.-noon and the first-ever Montevallo Artwalk from 5-8 p.m. The market will feature locally-grown produce, fresh eggs, bread and honey, and other specialties, while the Artwalk will feature demonstrations by local artists. Both events will feature live music.

Harpersville is also gearing up for several community gatherings, with the Harpersville Heritage Tour kicking off Oct. 20. Mayor Theoangelo Perkins will guide the tour through the town’s historical sites. Just a couple days later, Old Baker Farm will host the Cotton Pickin’ Celebration Oct. 22-23, which will offer Civil War re-enactments and Native American history demonstrations.

If you get a chance to go to one of these festivals, do it. You’ll remember again how lucky Shelby County is to have its small, tightly knit communities right along with its larger cities.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.