Friday, April 25, 2014

Fort Payne Third Saturday Sunset by John Dersham

Fort Payne began its 3rd season of Third Saturday Sunset events downtown last week. This is a really fun way to spend a Saturday evening. Gault Avenue is closed to traffic and downtown from 1st Street to 5th Street becomes a big walkway to stroll and enjoy an evening of entertainment, food, shopping and classic cars. It is here you will see many of your friends that you have not seen for awhile. Along the way you will hear great local entertainers. They are spaced at just the right distance apart so when you start getting too far away to hear one you begin hearing another. This means at almost all locations along your walk through downtown you can hear music. As you walk you will find a large collection of classic cars provided by local collectors and car enthusiasts. Gault Avenue was lined with cars, one after another on both sides of the street. Amelia Landstreet, whom heads up the Third Saturday planning committee, tells me there were approximately 240 classic cars at last Saturdays event. It was really a very impressive presentation of classic vehicles. In addition to Amelia Landstreet the other dedicated planners on the Third Saturday committee are Terry Locklear, Johnny Eberhart, Randall Ham, Steve Westmoreland and Chris Roberts. Third Saturday Sunset is held from April through October. The hours are 5-9 PM. At sunset on a nice evening the sunlight sets shining its sparkle across our beautiful historic downtown and lights up the side of Lookout Mountain with a beautiful warm glow. We are truly blessed with a very appealing downtown with our historic Boom Days architecture of the late 1880’s to the perfectly maintained City Parks all clustered in our historic district close to  the original, recently restored Iron & Coal/ Opera Block.  Just down the road is the Depot Museum, Alabama Walking Park and our new Rotary Pavilion, amphitheater. The whole time you are walking around downtown Lookout Mountain is standing there beside you, majestic and peaceful. There is a sense of being nestled at the foot of the mountain that gives Fort Payne another attribute to its already strong visual appeal as an all American downtown…quaint, friendly and steeped in good will, strong values and  a strong sense of community that is exhibited everywhere you look and to everyone you speak.
Many thanks to the Mayor and City Council and to the Third Saturday planning committee along with the downtown merchants who have done a great job hosting this event. The crowd estimated at 2,500 to 3,000 made for a very successful event. Also thanks to our Parks and Recreation Department for keeping our parks “picture perfect” and to the police and fire departments who protect our people and our assets.  
The next Third Saturday Sunset event is May 17. I hope to see you there.