This year marks the eighth annual Superhero Day at Big Spring Memorial Park in Athens, hosted by Eli’s Block Party Childhood Cancer Foundation.

The event returns in person after having to go virtual last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will begin at 10 a.m. and run through 4 p.m.

According to the organization’s website, Superhero Day will feature free activities for children, music, food trucks, inflatables, rented rides and many volunteers dressed up as superheroes.

The event also honors members of law enforcement, military, firefighters, farmers, utility linemen and other first responders.

A parade will bring in the heroes at 10:30 a.m. Storytime will be at noon and 2 p.m., with line dancing on East Street at 1 p.m. Kids who dress up in costume are invited to join the costume walk at 3 p.m.

The event is free to attend, with bracelets sold for the rented rides as part of the annual fundraiser conducted by Eli’s Block Party. According to the group’s social media, this year’s fundraiser will benefit Dr. Greg Friedman at Children’s of Alabama. Friedman is researching ways to combat pediatric brain cancer.

“Research is where better, less toxic treatments are. Research is where the cure is,” Kristie Williams said in 2019. Williams is the founder and director of the childhood cancer foundation and mother to Eli Williams, 12-year-old brain cancer victim.

Anyone interested in volunteering as a “CIA agent” for Superhero Day is invited to visit the Eli’s Block Party Facebook page for more information.

Golden pinwheel garden

September is childhood cancer awareness month, and from now through Sept. 18, Eli’s Block Party has placed golden pinwheels in the park to represent the 40-plus children diagnosed with cancer every day in the U.S., as well as the 2,000 kids killed annually by the disease.

Those who wish to sponsor a pinwheel in memory or honor of a loved one can do so by visiting elisblockparty.org. Sponsorship is $1 per pinwheel.

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