Fun awaits all over Shelby County

By RENE’ DAY / Community Columnist

As I write this, I anxiously await Columbiana’s Liberty Day celebration. It is always a fun way to properly begin the patriotic season. Shelby County folks have been spending the last weekend in June enjoying food, music and fireworks since 1986. It began as a way to honor the Statue of Liberty – a gift given in friendship by France. For the past 31 years, Liberty Day has proven that we know how to have a good time!

In fact, there are quite a few opportunities to get your “party” on throughout the year. Most communities offer a distinctly local flavor in annual celebrations that, if not already on your calendar, should be. After all, what better way is there to meet your neighbors, enjoy local sites, taste fantastic food and drink, spend time with your family and contribute to the energy that is this special place in central Alabama? Here are just a few for consideration.

If you are making plans for July 4, then you might want to investigate the very patriotic party at the very patriotic place called The American Village. Events of the day begin at 11 a.m. Later, bring a blanket for the front lawn and enjoy an evening concert and fireworks’ celebration. Or, travel down Highway 280 to Chelsea’s Freedom Fest and enjoy fireworks in another part of the county. Going to be out of town on the 4th? Another chance to light it up happens on July 29 at Vincent in the Park. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with games, food vendors and musical entertainment.

Each fall brings a new round fun as Harpersville hosts the September “Grape Stomp” at Morgan Creek Winery. If you love Lucy like I love Lucy, then you will enjoy the chance to get up-close and personal with newly harvested fruit as well as to compete in a Lucy Look-Alike contest. Wine tasting is part of the party too! In October, Old Baker Farm rolls out the welcome mat for the Cotton Pickin’ Celebration. If something “hotter” is your cup of tea, then don’t miss October’s Fire Prevention Parade in Montevallo. Nothing is better than blocks of shiny fire trucks passing by.

Like strawberries? Then keep an eye out next April for Calera’s Strawberry Festival. The luscious red fruit may be the star of this shindig, but there are all sorts of other foods available as well as arts and crafts and family activities. May brings Helena’s Buck Creek Festival. The rubber duck race is one of the best ways to welcome spring. Although relatively new, Pelham Palooza is also a fun harbinger of spring.

And, on the first weekend in June, all roads lead to Alabaster for the ever-growing City Fest. People are still talking about this year’s Black Jacket Symphony’s Queen performance! And, if the past is any indication, next year’s will be even better.

It has been said that there is no such thing as too much fun. Well, in Shelby County there is no shortage of fun places and events. Choose one and enjoy!