Residents enjoy festivities during Columbiana’s 37th annual Liberty Day

Published 11:50 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Columbiana residents celebrated liberty in style and enjoyed a variety of festivities during the city’s 37th annual Liberty Day celebration.

Columbiana’s annual Liberty Day festival began on Friday, June 23 and ended on Saturday, June 24. Over the last 37 years, the event has evolved into a two-day family event and stands as a unifying celebration of the Statue of Liberty.

“It was a great day,” said Ali Payne, manager of community affairs and senior services in Columbiana. “Friday night and Saturday were just really, really good. We had excellent weather. No rain at all, not even a sprinkle. It was a great weekend.”

The festivities on June 23 were held near the Main Street Stage on Columbiana Main Street starting at 5 p.m. The events on June 23 took place both on main street and in Old Mill Square Park.

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback,” Payne said. “ People really tend to like the way the festival is spread out and not really crowded together.”

Attendees were able to experience live music, the Main Street Parade and a fireworks show as well as arts and crafts and other vendors.

This year’s Liberty Day featured over 30 food trucks for residents to enjoy and Payne shared that many of them sold out of food.

The Great American Hotdog Eating Contest returned during this year’s Liberty Day and featured a heated contest between two citizens as they closely settled a tie.

“They got two more minutes and the champion, (Jeremy Dixon), who’s won several years in a row, he ended up winning this time and it was literally by two bites of a hotdog,” Payne said.

The third annual Liberty 5K saw great success this year as 167 people participated. Winners received awards during an awards ceremony on Hero Stage in Old Mill Square at 9 p.m.

The annual Liberty Day Car and Truck Show took place on June 24 and attendees were able to view more than 130 cars.

Shelby County High School’s football stadium was packed on Saturday night as locals came to enjoy the closing out of the Liberty Day festivities with Columbiana’s annual fireworks display.

Payne shared that Liberty Day was made possible thanks to the efforts of many.

“Tons and tons of city workers and volunteers make Liberty Day possible and without them it just wouldn’t ever happen,” Payne said. “We really do appreciate them, and we appreciate our sponsors. At the end of the day, it takes a lot of money and a lot of energy to pull the festival off.”