By Adam Smith
The Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association this week is continuing the tradition of Week of Independence.
Several local businesses have joined the Week of Independence by offering veterans specials with the presentation of military ID through July 6.
The schedule of events is as follows:
• Pause for 1 minute of silent prayer at noon to remember those serving in the military.
• The Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives, American Legion Post 49 and the Limestone County Burial Detail will host a flag retirement ceremony at the museum. The public is welcome to bring their frayed and worn out flags to be retired.
• The Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives invites residents to tour and speak with local veterans on Independence Day. The museum will also host a free viewing of “Patriots” at 11 a.m.
• AMVETS will be out in Athens seeking support for its annual White Clover Drive. Donation points will be Kmart, Hometown Grocery, Tractor Supply and Walmart. Contributions from this drive go to continue AMVETs’ service mission to help veterans and service men and women through efforts such as Healing Heroes Program, Transitional Services and helping their families at home.
• As the sun goes down over Athens, big bangs and sparkling displays will light up the night as Athens-Limestone County Tourism, Limestone County Commission and the City of Athens present the annual Fourth of July firework show.
Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said officers will direct traffic at =intersections on U.S. 31 between Forrest Street and Elm streets. Those who park on the west side of U.S. 31 between those two streets will go south after the show. Those who park on the east side of U.S. 31 will go north.
“Many of our citizens and citizens from surrounding areas enjoy tailgating together and watching the show,” Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said. “It’s a free event and a safe way to enjoy fireworks.”
Athens Fire and Rescue Chief Tony Kirk reminds city residents that it is illegal to shoot fireworks inside the city limits except for permitted public shows, such as the Athens Fireworks Show. He said fireworks may quickly start a fire, especially in the hay fields ready to harvest.
• The Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival continues on the corner of Beaty and Forrest Streets from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Little ones can enjoy the rides for one ticket, which are 50 cents each. Adults can step under the pavilion and enjoy bingo, Dippin’ Dots, shaved ice and many other concessions.
• CEI Bookstore is hosting a concert of local groups at Athens Bible School auditorium at 7 p.m. The auditorium is located at the corner of Forrest and Washington streets.
• Area veterans and their families are invited to the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives at 8 a.m. for fellowship and light refreshment. The museum will be open for tours until 3 p.m.
• CEI Bookstore invites parents and their children to story time at 10:30 a.m.
• Cruise-In will be held on the Square in Athens from 3 to 8 p.m. Come enjoy the antique vehicles, shopping and dining.
• Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival opens at 6:30 p.m. for another night of family fun.
For more information about the events, contact Jeanette Jones, Teresa Todd or Cayce Lee at 256-232-5411.