Sedley holiday tradition returns

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 3, 2009

SEDLEY—After 20 years, Sedley’s annual Independence Day festivities were canceled last year, disappointing many in the community. However, increased volunteer support has helped resurrect the celebration, which returns Saturday.

Last year’s cancellation wasn’t the result of a lack of funding or interest from the community. According to organizers, it was directly related to a lack of volunteers.

“Last year we just did not have enough people,” said Anita Felts, chairwoman of the Sedley Recreation Association and the Sedley Fourth of July Committee. “It’s something that just can’t be pulled off by a few people.”

After organizers discovered there would not be enough volunteers, the event was canceled.

“I think it was more of a wake-up call that more volunteers were needed,” said Anne Bryant, a member of the Sedley Fourth of July Planning Committee.

Last year’s wake-up call seems to have worked, according to Felts. She said that people came forward to help with this year’s celebration as soon as they heard that the festivities were canceled last year.

Both Bryant and Felts say the celebration this year will be even bigger than usual, featuring a Veterans’ Recognition program by the Sedley Woman’s Club, the traditional parade, a car show, sports tournaments, motorcycle and car shows, a poker run, a flag-raising ceremony, performances by the Silver Street Band and the Rhythm Sensation Cloggers and, of course, fireworks.

Bryant said 1,500 to 2,000 people are usually in attendance by the time the fireworks start. Attendance can vary during the day, depending on the weather. There are hopes that this year’s big return might draw an even larger crowd.

“We’re hoping that having missed a year will attract more people,” Bryant said.

The all-day schedule of events begins at 9 a.m. with registration for the car show and ends with the fireworks, which begin at 9:15 p.m.

Bryant encourages everyone to “come out and join the fun.”