ARLEY - A year after the Arley Women’s Club celebrated its 50th anniversary, another 50-year event will be celebrated on Arley Day Saturday, May 20.
The Arley Day Festival, sponsored annually by the Arley Women’s Club, continues its expansion to include more areas of Hamner Park, located off of Helicon Road, and this year will be no exception.
“We’re so sad we had to cancel (the festival) two years ago because of COVID, but this year we will be celebrating our 50th year,” pointed out AWC Member Cindy Bryant. “We’re excited to do that. This is for the community.”
Arley Day began in 1973 with a barbecue, and has certainly expanded its efforts to include all sorts of family friendly entertainment.
“We are so grateful for the Arley Women’s Club to provide this as a gift to the community, to celebrate the heart of Arley,” pointed out AWC President Barb Wills.
Even more new events have been added to keep the tradition of the festival as a major draw not only throughout the county, but region, according to AWC members. The day’s events kick off early May 20, with two community breakfasts, at 6:30 a.m., one in the fellowship hall of Meek Baptist Church, located diagonally across Helicon Road from Hamner Park. Here, biscuits, gravy, eggs, sausage, coffee and juice will be served.
Meanwhile, a pancake breakfast will be taking place nearby on Helicon Road at the Arley Fire Department, directly across from Hamner Park, with donations at each of the breakfasts accepted to benefit the Arley Fire Department.
“The community breakfast is basically Meek Baptist volunteers donating time back to the community,” women’s club member Jessie Burns explained.
“And the pancake breakfast is Arley First Baptist doing the same (at the fire station),” Burns noted, adding these two churches were working together to bring much needed funds to the fire department.
After a proper nutritional start to the day, the Arley Day parade will start lining up at 7:30 a.m. at the Dollar General store located on County Road 41, with the parade starting at 8 a.m. The parade route will travel 41 to Helicon Road, where it will turn right and travel past Hamner Park to Meek Baptist Church, where it will disperse.
Parade entries are encouraged, with decorated cars, floats, entries from churches, businesses, non-profit organizations, golf carts, horses, motorcycles, etc. Also, cars and trucks that will be entered into the car show later that morning are urged to be in the parade, organizers said. Those interested in being in the parade need to contact Jennie Sanford at (937) 622-1571.
After the parade disperses, antique cars and trucks that will be in the show will be assembled at the soccer field area of the park. These include classic models and street rods, as well as trucks and motorcycles, according to organizers.
The cost per vehicle for the show is $20, with the show featuring prizes, a money tree, a giveaway every half hour, as well as awards presented for People’s Choice and Best in Show, according to organizer Paula Fullington.
At the car show tent, a coloring contest for children will be held, as well as corn hole games, Fullington added.
Online registration for the car show can be found at arleywomensclub.org. There is no deadline for entry, with registration also held the day of the show, according to Fullington.
Payments can be mailed to Arley Women’s Club, P.O. Box 15, Arley, Ala. 35541.
Last year, between 50-60 vehicles were entered in the show, but there is room at the soccer field for up to 100 vehicles, organizers said.
For more information regarding the vehicle show, contact Fullington at (615) 943-6816.
New to the festival this year will be a pickleball demonstration at 10 a.m. to showcase one of the park’s latest additions, a pickleball court.
“That place is packed,” stressed AWC Member Beth Sargent. “You would be surprised at how many people come and play pickleball.”
Another addition to the Arley Day festival will be a miniature petting zoo courtesy of Snead’s Farmhouse Sanctuary of Vinemont, which will be providing goats, chickens, rabbits, a tortoise, pigs and ducks in the area of the park where Toddler Town will be located.
Photos with the animals will be available, especially the well-known duck Penny Lane, organizers said. Snead’s Farmhouse Sanctuary owner Judy Snead will be conducting an hourly story time with the children at the festival this year.
Horseback riding will be provided by Mason Family Farms.
Another addition to the festival this year will be a rock climbing wall located in the area of games and rides, including the Mind Winder.
Dash and Splash and Tropical Paradise will provide a much needed cool down with water activities and rides on what is traditionally a hot day.
Other Arley Day events will include archery.
There will not be the 5K run or live entertainment at the festival this year, with music provided by a live deejay instead.
“We want everyone to come out and have a good time,” Bryant pointed out.
Early bird vendor registration
Deadlines for vendor applications are swiftly approaching, with vendors divided into different categories, according to AWC members.
Early bird registration for non-food vendors received by April 14, is $45 for a 10x10 space. Non-food vendor applications received between April 15-May 12, will be $60 for a 10x10 space, according to a copy of the vendor application forms.
Early bird church or non-profit organization applications received by April 14, will be $25 for the 10x10 space, with churches and non-profit applications submitted between April 15-May 12 costing $30 for the same size space.
Early bird food vendor applications received by April 14, will be $60 for a 10x14 space, with food vendor applications received between April 15-May 12 costing $75 for the same size space.
All applications and payments must be received by the women’s club by 5 p.m. May 12, members emphasized.
Arley Women’s Club members thank every sponsor that helps to make Arley Day possible every year.
“With our volunteers and the sponsors, we’re able to put this on,” Bryant stated.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.