The Henagar City Park will hold the 37th Annual Potato Festival this Independence Day.
Each year, hundreds of people fill the park to celebrate the 4th of July with local music, car show, a variety of food, fireworks and more.
The parade will begin the day at 10 a.m. at Crye Road and end at the park. Assistant City Clerk Alicia Wooten said in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the city has named several local WWII veterans as this year’s Grand Marshals.
In addition, local floats, cars and fire trucks will also make their way through the city.
“We’re also celebrating the Alabama Bicentennial and we’ll have some memorabilia to give out,” Wooten said.
This year will see 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for the “Best Float” contest. First place winners will receive $100 and passes to the city pool for every Saturday in July. Second place will be given $50 and third will receive $25. It is free to enter in the parade and the deadline to register is June 28.
After the parade ends, an opening ceremony will be held in the park where city officials will dedicate a newly erected memorial to honor The Louvin Brothers, a country and gospel group that originated in Henagar in the 1940s and were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
Approximately half an hour after the parade and dedication, the Henagar Public Library will host the “Throwing Bags for Books” cornhole tournament at the tennis courts. The two-person teams are $20 each to enter and $25 on the day of the parade. First, 2nd and 3rd place prizes will be awarded and all proceeds will go to benefit the library. For more information or to register, contact Library Director Donna Carlin at 256-657-1380.
The live entertainment schedule is as follows:
• Ryan Watkins from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
• Comedian Mickey Bell from 12:30 p.m. 1 p.m.
• The Sharps from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
• Kathy Louvin and Family from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Whitney Tinker from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Sara Lewis from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
• Hugh Jack Bell from 5:30 p.m. 6 p.m.
• Karl Childers Band from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
More than 60 food and craft vendors will be onsite, along with a game and activity section for children.
This year, the festival will see their returning food vendors and new ones, including blooming onions and ribeye sandwiches. Various ice cream, shaved ice and lemonade stands will also be there.
“We have a lot of food this year,” she said. “Of course, we will have all different kinds of potatoes.”
People at the event will have their chance to try many types of potato dishes in honor of the festival’s name, including tornado potatoes, baked potatoes, loaded potatoes, tater tots, French fries, potatoes on a stick and more.
The city still has spots available for vendors, and interested parties can call city hall at 256-657-6282 to sign up.
Wooten said the game section for children is also back by popular demand.
“We’ve got the games again this year for the kids, and someone’s bringing a mechanical bull this year, that’s new,” she said. “We’ve also got the bungee jumps and the inflatables that the kids love.”
The annual car show, hosted by the Wheels of Time Cruisers, will be in the parking lot of Camp Drugs adjacent to the park.
“We are also having an antique tractor show this year, which is new,” Wooten said. “It’s going to be on the left side as you walk into the park.”
As every year, the firework show will begin approximately 30 minutes after sunset and last fifteen minutes.
The official Potato Festival shirts sold every year are available at city hall or on the day of the festival at the park.