Rain does not stop Liberty Day

 Mayor Stancil Handley and Liberty Day Grand Marshall Evan Major explore Liberty Day on June 27. (Contributed)

Mayor Stancil Handley and Liberty Day Grand Marshall Evan Major explore Liberty Day on June 27. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – All week leading up to the weekend of Liberty Day, the weatherman predicted 70-80 percent storms. The huge two day patriotic celebration has been going on for 29 years and is the highlight of the year in Columbiana. Rain, rain, go away, don’t rain on Liberty Day.

Well, the rain came but did not stop Liberty Day. Friday night, The Negotiators played at Music on Main to a packed Main Street. Hula hoop expert and Natural Path’s nutritionist Robbie Lewis exhibited her hula hoop magic. Balloon Man decorated many children’s heads with adorable balloon hats. The Shelby County Arts Council had the grand opening of the UAB student photography exhibition, Accidental Grace: Photographs made in and about the South, with the Novella Club of Columbiana serving delicious home-made refreshments.

Saturday morning was cloudy and much cooler. Food vendors lined Main Street with home-made ice cream, hot dogs and more. Specialty vendors brought their wares to sell from jewelry to design iron work. Carnival rides were near the old courthouse. Non-profits as the Friends of the Columbiana Public Library told about their organizations. Main Street was constantly filled with people all day.

At noon, the newly crowned Miss Alabama 2015 Meg McGuffin attended the luncheon at Vignette Samantha Rush’s law office. The Annual Vignette Liberty Day luncheon honors the reigning Miss Shelby County and Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen along with the Miss Shelby County sponsors. This year’s Misses, Amanda Ford and Tiara Pennington, attended with their families. Congressman Gary Palmer, Columbiana Mayor Stancil and Ann Handley, Harpersville Mayor Theo Perkins also attended along with other guests. The three Misses autographed in from of the Rush’s law office until time to ride in the parade.

At 2:30 p.m. the clouds opened up and rain washed away the humidity in time to be over for the 3:30 p.m. Liberty Day Parade. Grand Marshall Evan Major in a convertible driven by Mayor Handley led the parade filled with beauty queens, Bobby Madison’s basketball camp, church groups and more. The parade was completed in dry weather with huge crowds lining Main Street. The rain came after the parade and was over in time for the Saturday night band and fireworks at the Shelby County High School football field.