The Fourth of July holds an extra special place in the hearts of Pike Road residents, even in a time when coronavirus conditions make gathering in large groups unsafe.
The SummerFest Fourth of July celebration has been canceled this year. But while the skies won’t be lit up over Pike Road, the town has expanded its celebration into a Week of Patriotism.
“We didn’t just want to cancel the fireworks show. We wanted to have something equally special and equally engaging,” said Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone.
Turner Waddell, communications specialist for the town of Pike Road, said they want to get the whole town involved in the celebration, while keeping everyone safe. The week of events has been made possible by partners in the town’s ENHANCE initiative (Exercise, Nutrition, Health, Agriculture, Nature, Community and Education).
“I think it’s important that people allow themselves to jump in and engage in each and every activity,” Stone said. “Encourage their neighbors to engage with them.”
Pike Road’s Week of Patriotism schedule includes:
Friday, June 26
Deadline to submit recipes, memories and traditions for A Taste of Summer Cookbook: Memories and Meals from our Citizens: Many family-favorite recipes, stories and traditions are passed down in Pike Road. What is your homemade summertime staple?
“I have to vote for my wife’s squash casserole, because that’s one that’s been submitted,” Stone said.
Visit pikeroad.us/2020-week-of-patriotism to submit photos, stories and recipes.
Sunday, June 28
Noon: A Taste of Summer Cookbook: Memories and Meals from our Citizens to be released: Get your collection of the community’s favorite summer and Fourth of July family recipes, memories and traditions.
“Summertime wouldn’t be what it is without picnics and family gatherings, and opportunities to mix and mingle with friends,” Stone said. “Since we can’t do that quite the way we used to, we can share that virtually through this cookbook.”
Monday, June 29
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Make Your Mark: Throughout the week, the community is invited to participate in creating a handprint flag banner. Stop by Founders Station, 4902 Pike Road, to place your print alongside all your neighbors. The finished flag will be unveiled on July 3.
“We envision it being little bitty handprints and big handprints,” Stone said. “Just kind of a cross section of Pike Road.”
Noon-1 p.m.: Mondays with the Mayor: This special edition of the monthly Mondays with the Mayor radio show will feature special guests who have been active in the Pike Road community since before the town was incorporated. The show will explore local history, cherished memories and the evolution of SummerFest, from Founders Station, the location of Pike Road’s first Town Hall, 4902 Pike Road. Tune in on WTXK 107.5 FM/1210 AM.
“It’s a fun way to celebrate Pike Road, our history and our connection to that American spirit of let your voice be heard,” Stone said.
Tuesday, June 30
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Give Back, Give Blood: Community Blood Drive at Town Hall, 9575 Vaughn Road, in partnership with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Red, White & Blue: Drop off your faded, weathered U.S. flags and pick up a new one. With the help of Pike Road’s local partners, they will properly dispose of worn-out flags.
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Contribute to the Handprint Flag. Stop by Town Hall, 9575 Vaughn Road, to place your handprint in paint.
Wednesday, July 1
All day: Scavenger Hunt: Collect clues across the community, and online.
“One of the special things we’re trying to do with the scavenger hunt is provide opportunities not only for people to go out with their families and explore some of the areas and natural surroundings of Pike Road, but also to be able to provide some digital options for people who may not feel comfortable getting out of the house, going out in public,” Waddell said. “We’ll have some scavenger items on our website that people will hunt for.”
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Contribute to the Handprint Flag: Stop by Founders Station, 4902 Pike Road, to place your handprint in paint.
Thursday, July 2
All day: Show & Share Your Stars & Stripes: Dress up in your most patriotic outfits – stars, stripes, red, white and blue. Find resources for do-it-yourself spirit gear at pikeroad.us. Share your family fun on social media with #PikeRoad4thofJuly, or email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Afternoon: Patriotic Characters Tour the Town: Head outside to say hello to the Pike Road Schools Patriot himself, Victor E., and a few of his patriotic friends.
“Our patriotic icons are going to drive through the communities,” Stone said. “We’re going to hopefully have the opportunity for all of our young people to come out and wave at some of their favorite patriotic figures.”
“It’s almost a reverse parade,” said Turner Waddell, communications specialist for Pike Road.
Friday, July 3
9 a.m.: Hand in Hand: Pike Road will unveil the completed handprint flag on social media. It will also be on display outside of Founders Station, 4902 Pike Road.
11 a.m.: Patriotic Painting: Participate in creating a Fourth of July-themed painting via video demonstration from a local artist. The video will be available on Pike Road’s website and social media. This is for all skill levels. Art project supplies include:
* For all projects: Acrylic paints – Red, White, Navy Blue. Plastic/disposable cups, paper towels, plastic drop cloth for easy clean-up
* Additional Items for Project 1: Fourth of July Fireworks: Additional acrylic paints: Yellow, Black. Assorted paintbrushes. Canvas or other substantial material for painting on. Paper plates for paint palettes. One sheet cardstock paper or thin cardboard.
* Additional Items for Project 2: Patriotic Pour: Flotrol or other pouring medium – available at Home Depot or craft stores. Wooden stir sticks. Canvas for painting.
* Additional Items for Project 3: Family Flag: 30” x 60” white foam board, cut into three 30” x 20” rectangles (you can also use cardboard, three 30” x 20” or similarly sized rectangular canvases, or any other substantial material for your painting. However, cardboard will need to be painted white before beginning).
* Optional: Star-shaped sponge. Star hole punch and white paper or doilies. Plus any material you would like to use for your stars.
Saturday, July 4
All day: Songs of Celebration virtual concert: A virtual concert featuring the people of Pike Road. Patriotic music will be shared throughout the day on Pike Road’s social media and website, pikeroad.us. They will also share photos collected from throughout the week.
“If you are musically inclined and want to be a part of our grand finale event that Saturday, we’re going to debut at periodic times during the day a patriotic song or musical performance,” Stone said.
Stone said they’ve received positive feedback from the community about the week-long program.
“People are excited. They’re curious because a lot of these are things they haven’t thought about or haven’t participated in before,” Stone said. “I think the curiosity is a good sign.”
Stone said Pike Road is close-knit community.
“We appreciate the fact that so many have come before us to achieve the goals that we’ve achieved,” Stone said. “Celebrating the Fourth of July is a chance to say thank you.”
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel at email@example.com.