Veterans honored at annual Harpersville Day

HARPERSVILLE – The annual Harpersville Day on Nov. 12 offered a chance to honor veterans and provide residents with a fun way to spend the day.

This year’s Harpersville Day was the third to be held, following the inaugural event in 2014 and then the town’s bicentennial celebration last year.

Town Clerk Stacy Walkup, who organizes the event along with Virtie Bell, said she expects the event to continue to grow.

“It is a great day for our community,” Walkup said.

Attendees, which were estimated to number more than 3,000, enjoyed food and other offerings from 40 vendors.

The event’s theme was “Looking back on our past and looking forward to our future,” and veterans were honored.

Three World War II veterans—A.B. Carder, J.D. Glass and Hubert McGuire—and Francis Phelps, who was part of the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II and a former Wilsonville mayor, were the grand marshals for a parade that also included police and firefighters from Harpersville and surrounding communities, horses and more.

Through his connections with local veterans organizations, Mayor Don Greene reached out to many local veterans and invited them to attend.

The guest speaker was John R. (Pete) Gay Sr., a 1953 Vincent High School graduate who enlisted in the Alabama National Guard in 1957. He eventually held a position flying generals around to various locations.

Harpersville Day also included a display to honor fallen soldiers.

For the first time, Harpersville Day included a talent competition.

The Harpersville Police Department, with Chief Jimmy Macon as lead singer, won first place in “Shelby County Has Talent” by performing “I Got Sunshine.”

Second place was Edwina Chappell, who performed “Stand By Your Man;” and third place went to Charles Hamilton, who performed a James Brown song.

Former Mayor Theoangelo Perkins and the Liberty Christian Church Praise Team received Most Inspirational and Crowd Rocker awards for their performance.

Performers were graded on stage appearance, originality and personality, among other factors.

Walkup said she expects the competition to grow.

“Everybody understands it now,” she said.

Harpersville Day also included a hay bale decorating contest.

First place in the contest (and a $100 prize) went to the Vincent Elementary School art department, second place ($75) went to Animal House Vet Clinic and third place ($50) went to Liberty Christian Church.

Other notable entries were the Vincent High School cheerleaders, which won the Spirit Award; Coosa Valley Academy’s art department, which won the Most Original Award; and a barn created by Guen Valenti of the town’s Beautification Board.

The event featured many free activities for children, including face painting, horseback riding and inflatables.

“We hope to keep growing the children’s activities,” Walkup said.

Other features included a car show organized by Mark and Tami Crowe, and music provided by the Chad Baker Band.

Walkup thanked all those who helped with and sponsored the event, especially local business Old Baker Farm and Peg Hill, who served as emcee.

“The community just loves Harpersville Day,” Walkup said. “People are so thankful. So many people come up to us and thank us for this event.”