Celebrating independence in ‘the 45’

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

For nearly 250 years, Americans have considered July 4 as the nation’s birthday. Lowndes County residents are gearing up to celebrate Independence Day, marking the occasion in a variety of ways which express their love of country, devotion to family and commitment to unity.

The Town of Lowndesboro holds an annual celebration, complete with a parade and festive activities centered around gratitude for the freedoms community members enjoy. Mayor Anne Spooner said the tradition has been held annually for a number of years and is a highlight for the close-knit community as well as the entire county.

“The event is a really fun, all-American, small-town celebration,” Spooner said. “It is sponsored by the town council but includes lots of community members who help. It’s a real joint effort. Councilman Jerry Ingram has taken the lead on this and has done a great job of getting other community members involved.

Email newsletter signup

Lineup for the parade begins at 7:30 a.m. in front of Lowndes Academy. The procession gets going around 8:30 a.m. followed by a ceremony at Ruby Moore Park.

“Alabama Agricultural Commissioner Rick Pate will be our emcee,” Spooner said. “Everyone brings their tailgate chairs and after the parade we have a patriotic program with prayer, patriotic music and a time of honoring all our veterans.”

Hayneville Mayor Jimmie Davis said he is looking forward to attending the event. Hayneville has hosted similar events in years past, but this year town leaders are planning to support the Lowndesboro event.

“It is my intention to go over to Lowndesboro and participate with them because when we had our parade here in Hayneville, Lowndes Academy participated in our parade,” Davis said. “I just wanted to show my love back.”

State Senator Robert Stewart will be on hand to address the community along with former Alabama Treasurer Young Boozer. Refreshments and shopping will also be available.

Spooner said organizers plan the event early in the day, before 90-degree temperatures set in.

“We know it’s hot, but people want to celebrate,” she said. “Lowndesboro is a sweet little town, but folks are also ready to get on with their family barbecues. So, we don’t make the program long, just important and very patriotic.”

No other formal celebrations are scheduled in the area, but the lack of organized events does not keep residents from observing the holiday.

Gordonville Mayor Orbuty Ozier said her family, like many others around the area, gathers for an intimate celebration and family reunion.

“A few years ago, we did have a fireworks show,” Ozier said. “But sometimes, especially in July, that’s when a lot of families do their reunion. The majority of family reunions in Lowndes County are held in the month of July.

“We honor and we love Independence Day. Because, if we didn’t have Independence Day, we could not celebrate family.”

White Hall Mayor Delmartre Bethel also described the Fourth of July as a time for family gatherings.

“The Fourth of July is a time when most of our residents meet and gather with family,” Bethel said. “In our area, the Fourth of July is a time we call family reunion. We have a lot of events where people from out of state visit and socialize.”

Davis pointed out that whether residents attend an event or spend time with family, Independence Day is the ideal time to consider and pray for the nation.

“It’s just a time we can come together and pray for things,” Davis said. “We could be living in some of the cities where all the violence is happening. We need to be aware that it can happen where we are.”