Fourth celebration for everyone
It was so hot on Monday, I'm surprised anyone stirred from the comfort of their air conditioning, but many did. Many, in fact, were stirring around the East Brewton civic center and Fort Crawford Park to participate in the City's day-long Fourth of July celebration.
Other Standard staff members and I took turns throughout the day and night, checking in on the activities and taking photos, some of which you'll find on today's photo page.
When I first stopped in at the civic center early Monday afternoon, I was surprised at the number of people who had turned out to play bingo. I would estimate there were more than 100 people -- of every age -- gathered in the civic center, marking bingo cards while Mayor Terry Clark called numbers.
As I left the building, a man stopped me and said, "Excuse me, what's going on in there?"
I answered, "Well, right now they're playing bingo. It's part of East Brewton's Fourth of July celebration and they have different activities all day, leading up to the fireworks at 10 tonight."
When I stopped by Fort Crawford Park later that afternoon to see the duck race, it was quite clear that the event was for the whole community.
A crowd filled the park -- playing on the playground, throwing horseshoes, listening to the performers, cooking hamburgers, painting faces, talking with neighbors and friends. One little girl -- probably four years old -- stood alone in front of the band, dancing and whirling like she couldn't have been happier.
As many of us started to gather on the edge of the creek to watch for racing ducks, three young girls who were visiting their grandparents from Tennessee took to the bandstand and sang a few gospel songs a capella. The whole scene and the atmosphere created around it were more quaint and comforting than any description you could read in a novel.
Before I left the park that evening, I chatted with a city employee who said he and others had started at 4:30 Monday morning preparing the park for the event. I knew those same people would still be there as Monday night ended, cleaning things up after the party was over.
As Mayor Terry Clark spoke with such pride on Tuesday about how well the day had gone, it's my guess that those who worked the hardest to make the celebration happen -- as well as those who just came and enjoyed -- wouldn't have changed a thing.