Buck Creek Festival, Alabaster Jubilee brighten faces

Published 10:20 am Monday, October 4, 2021

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As rubber ducks made their way over the dam’s waterfall and raced down Buck Creek in Helena, smiling faces looked on with intrigue at a sight they hadn’t seen in more than a year.

After being canceled three times in the last year-and-a-half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buck Creek Festival persevered this time and had one of its best events since the festival started.

An event that has raised more than $300,000 for the community over the years, it was a welcome sight for families in the city who came out to enjoy vendors, arts, crafts, music and, of course, the famed duck race.

It was a joyous moment many in Helena and surrounding areas had been looking forward to for quite some time, and finally, they got to come together after the heartbreak of hearing the event was canceled on so many occasions.

It is sights and sounds like this that we have missed so much since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.

People were confident in being around one another and having a good time rather than shut inside looking at their phones and commenting on every social media post with their own agenda.

The same can be said about Alabaster Jubilee #1.

In the inaugural event, just down the road from Helena’s festival, the city of Alabaster hosted an entertaining day to make up for the cancellation of City Fest three times since the pandemic started.

Normally a spring event, City Fest was canceled in the spring of 2020 and rescheduled for that fall, before eventually being moved to spring of this year.

That event was also canceled, but the event planners found a backup plan in the form of a new fall event. Born was the Jubilee.

It wasn’t nearly as crowded as City Fest normally is since football reigns supreme in the state of Alabama on fall Saturdays, but it still had a good turnout of families enjoying live music on the big stage all day, while shopping with vendors and sampling foods from around the area.

Both cities could have easily canceled their events for a fourth time in less than a year, but they knew it was time to return to as close to normalcy as we can get with vaccines now available and masks still readily available.

It gives us hope as we head throughout the fall and winter, and even into next spring, that brighter days are ahead.