Columbia County scored a major coup this weekend by bringing Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que to Evans Towne Center Park, yet another in a series of events that have left other venues in favor of the shiny new facility.
Held here on Memorial Day weekend, the event included a flag ceremony and a fireworks show. But its sheer size also meant the displacement of the more intimate Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration, a patriotic event heading into its 12th year.
Rather than the change being bad news, however, it’s a blessing in disguise: Our community is loaded with events commemorating Memorial Day weekend and celebrating our military services, including last weekend’s Thunder Over Augusta – which also had been lured to Towne Center Park. Yet in Columbia County, we’ve had a lack of events surrounding Veterans Day since the school-based “Proud to Be an American” celebration ended its run.
The crowded Memorial Day weekend, then, presented the opportunity to move the Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration to a less-hectic spot on the calendar: Veterans Day weekend.
This year, the patriotic celebration will be held Nov. 10. And here’s a bit of interesting trivia: While a huge barbecue competition necessitated the change, it was during Veterans Day weekend that there last was a major barbecue cookoff held in Columbia County. That fledgling event lasted three years until the untimely death of organizer Bobby Waters. Since then, the lack of a celebration that weekend has been a noticeable void.
It’s fantastic news, then, that making way for this weekend’s major event provides the impetus to restart a Veterans Day celebration in Columbia County.
For a community as friendly to, and filled with, service members as ours, such a celebration is long overdue.
Enjoy this weekend and the freedoms protected by our military. And mark your calendars for Veterans Day.