On Saturday, hundreds of people will fill the downtown square for one of LaFayette’s biggest events.
After months of planning the 18th annual LaFayette Day for Valley Haven is finally here.
Starting at 8 am CST, LaFayette’s streets will come to life in what is always an exciting day. Along with the many citizens and out of town guests, the square will be packed with dozens of vendors, games, competitions and much more for a day that’s purpose is to both celebrate the city of LaFayette and raise funds for Valley Haven’s Hike/Bike/Run campaign.
“Hike/Bike/Run started as a small fundraiser to supplement the local match for Valley Haven,” said LaFayette Day co-chair and incoming Valley Haven Executive Director Craig Brown. “It has now grown to be the single biggest source of local support for Valley Haven. With LaFayette Day, many more people have been able to help Valley Haven School, our area school for children and adults with special needs. The reason for the continued growth of LaFayette Day and Hike/Bike/Run is that people want to be a part of helping Valley Haven. When you support LaFayette Day and Valley Haven, you know you are doing something good, something that really helps our special citizens. It has often been said that this area’s greatest asset is its people. Our residents demonstrate time and time again how caring this area’s residents are.”
LaFayette Day was started in 1998 with the intentions of allowing the city of LaFayette to have a unique contribution to Valley Haven’s annual Hike/Bike/Run campaign. Since its inception, LaFayette Day has been able to provide a sizeable contribution to the campaign and that role has grown each year. The very first LaFayette Day raised just over $2,000 for Valley Haven, while the 2014 event raised over $12,000.
After last year’s record crowd, organizers are expecting this year’s LaFayette Day to be better than ever. In addition to the hallmark activities such as the motorcycle ride, car show, food and craft vendors, and live entertainment, there are new aspects being added this year.
One of the featured additions this year will be a fireman’s competition. Five local fire departments, including Five Points, Huguley, Union Hill, East Alabama and Lanett, are scheduled to compete in the competition. It will consist of three different events, the obstacle course, water-on-roof competition and air-pack relay. Points will be awarded by a panel of three judges in each event and the overall winning team will receive a grand prize. The competition is scheduled to begin at 1 pm.
As usual there will be many arts and crafts and food vendors on site throughout the day. This year several new vendors have signed up to participate, coming from all over the south including Tennessee, Georgia and across Alabama.
Numerous food vendors are registered to attend this year with items including funnel cakes, roasted corn, wraps, snow cones, homemade pies and desserts, barbecue ribs and sandwiches and much more.
A LaFayette Day staple, the Antique Car and Truck Show, will again return featuring classic and modern street rods, antique cars, trucks and tractors. The automobiles will be on display from 9 am to 2 pm on 1st Street SE, and winners in different categories will be announced at 1 pm.
A thrilling sight is the conclusion of the annual Motorcycle Ride, which takes place around noon at LaFayette Day. Each year, dozens of riders participate in the ride that begins in West Point and ends in downtown LaFayette.
Brown will preside over the LaFayette Day opening ceremony at 9:00 and Donna Stewart will sing the national anthem. Trent and Chase Golden will be the first performers on the main stage from 9:15-9:45. Britney Avery will take the stage at 9:50 and Lacie Amason will follow at 10:25. The Star Wonders group will perform starting at 11:00 and Rickey Gooden and Alex Harvey will wrap up the morning events starting at 11:30.
At 12:10 the LaFayette Day Committee will pay tribute to several special individuals. They will recognize the Class 2A state champion LaFayette High boys basketball team for their incredible season.
Following all the presentations, Mike and Greg Lauderdale will perform starting at 12:30. At 1:15, the Holloway and Drake Singers will take the stage, followed by the final act of the day, the Gospel Navigators of Opelika, at 2 pm.
Several other activities will be a part of LaFayette Day. For the fifth consecutive year, LaFayette First Baptist Church will sponsor a yard sale adjacent to the church in conjunction with LaFayette Day. The yard sale begins at 8 am and a $10 donation to Valley Haven School is required for each booth. All other proceeds from a vendor’s sales are theirs to keep.
A special display recognizing the 150th anniversary of the battle at Fort Tyler will be located in the courthouse throughout the day.
Kid’s games and rides will also be prevalent this year with moonwalks, basketball and baseball games, giant slides and train and pony rides.
T-shirts for LaFayette Day are on sale now at Valley Haven School and will be available at the t-shirt booth during LaFayette Day while supplies last. Adult shirts are $10 and kids shirts are $5. A 32” HD flat-screen television will be raffled off and tickets can be purchased for $1 from any LaFayette Day committee member.
Of course, LaFayette Day is absolutely free and open to everyone. So be sure to come out and support LaFayette Day for Valley Haven. Buy a raffle ticket or a t-shirt, support the vendors whose fees support Valley Haven, or simply make a donation. It’s a great day that brings the community together while supporting a cause that’s unique and important to so many families and individuals in Chambers County.
LaFayette Day is one of the biggest events of the Hike/Bike/Run campaign, but there are several other fundraisers taking place in the coming weeks as well. The Valley Haven Auction is on April 17th at the Valley Community Center, and the Bowling Tournament and Bingo are on Tuesday, May 5th at Valley Bowl. Hike/Bike/Run at Valley Haven will be on Saturday May 2nd.
For more information on LaFayette Day call Brown at 334-756-2868 at Valley Haven School or Lynn Oliver at 334-219-2899.
For more information on Hike/Bike/Run call Valley Haven School at (334) 756-7801 or 756-2868 or e-mail them at email@example.com. The website is www.valleyhavenschool.org.