But it wasn’t just patriotic pride that brought the residents to the Heflin Recreation Field for the celebration, it was hometown pride.
We’re here to celebrate the town, said Deborah Daniel.
“It’s fun, very relaxed atmosphere,” Daniel said. “A great day.”
More than 100 residents attended the celebration beginning at 6:30 p.m. The concession stand was decked out with patriotic buntings and metallic blue streamers glittered in the sunshine. A tent set up in the corner of the field for use as a stage had a flag attached to the front right corner pole.
Residents brought their own folding chairs and blankets as set them up for optimal view of the shows.
As the musicians warmed up, residents claimed their free hot dog meals and chatted with their neighbors.
“I have six kids at the house today and this is free,” said Rebecca Cantrell with a laugh.
She was sitting in the bleachers outside the field with the children eating and talking to the people around her. This was her first time to the celebration, but she said she’d definitely come back next year.
She pointed out there were four churches, all different denominations, bagging the meals. That’s what the cele-bration is all about, she said.
“All of us being together, being a big family,” Cantrell said.
Her sentiments were echoed by residents as they explained why they came to the celebration. Steve Miller and his wife Kathy Miller, residents of Ranburne for eight years had a blanket set up in the field. They said they loved the town and wouldn’t want to go anyplace else.
“You support your own town and the people in town,” Steve Miller said.
As the music started, children ran around the back of the field and took advantage of a volleyball net set up well behind the seated adults.
The local musicians regaled the residents with current music, oldies and the occasional song aimed at the children including “The Hokey Pokey” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
A table set up across from the stage offered face painting and another table raising money for Thanksgiving meals for the city’s low-income residents sold freshly-made ice cream or lemonade for $1. There was a line all the way to the stage of people eager to finish off their meals with the homemade treats.
Gabe Van Pelt, one of the volunteers bagging the meals, said she volunteers every year.
“We have fun,” Van Pelt said. “Everybody getting together, that’s what we like.”
Staff writer Laura Camper 256-463-2872. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.