Moreland serves up barbecue and flavor of small-town USA
By W. WINSTON SKINNER
Moreland again welcomed hundreds of visitors to town for a slice of small town Americana on July 4.
The day included a parade of patriotic bicycles and tricycles followed by a parade of patriotic dogs. There were opening ceremonies – with the raising of the flag and “The Star-Spangled Banner” – and the annual Puckett Station Arts and Crafts Festival.
Although the official serving start time was 11 a.m., people were in and through the line before that time.
(To view photos from this event, please visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Events / Moreland for the Photo Gallery.)
There were vendors in the mill again. Sara Brooks brought her homebaked cakes and pies, and Jill Hall and Kathy Brown sold sports memorabilia and limited edition Lewis Grizzard posters at the Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance’s table.
Moreland Community Historical Society members sold commemorative T-shirts from past years, collected recipes for the group’s cookbook project and swapped stories with oldtimers, returning Moreland residents and folks visiting the south Coweta hamlet for the first time.
Puckett Station vendors also were stationed on Moreland Methodist’s lawn offering local honey, kettle corn, shaved ice, plants, baked goods, jewelry, split oak baskets and a jump house. The Gray sisters – Kelly, Natalie, Chelsea and Jordan – sold knitted gifts and baked from scratch peanut butter cookies in a patriotic star shape.
Members of Moreland United Methodist Church held an indoor yard sale in the fellowship hall – starting the day at 8 a.m. Local folks and visitors enjoyed looking through collectibles, toys, books, games, Christmas decorations and knickknacks.
At 8:30, youngsters with decorated bikes and trikes gathered in front of Moreland United Methodist Church. Mayor Josh Evans – in full Uncle Sam costume, including a white beard – welcomed everyone.
“I’m glad you came out – all of the kids and all of the dogs and all the families. It’s a great way to start our Independence Day,” he said.
Winners of the bike contest and dog contest received cash prizes from MCHS. Bike contest winners were Addison Rogin, first place; Grant Robertson, second; and Aidan Abrams, third.
First place winner in the dog contest was Bailey, who arrived in a patriotically themed wagon pulled by Elizabeth Mansour. Renzo, second place, was brought by John Hill, Amber Willis and Cole and Morgan Cannon brought Otis, the third place winner.
There were plenty of reminders that this is an election year. Candidates set up tents on the town square, and some drove vehicles with large signs. Chuck Smith, candidate for sheriff in neighboring Meriwether County, served as a judge for the bike and dog contests along with local firefighters Chris Sims and Matt Williams.
An honor guard from Boy Scout Troop 48 raised the American flag outside the Erskine Caldwell Birthplace and Museum. Local singer Roiella Beard sang the National Anthem, and the opening ceremonies included a prayer, the pledge to the flag and comments from Evans.
The mayor urged everyone to have “a fun time and a safe time.” Then he added, “We have this every year so feel free to come back next year and bring some family and friends with you.”