Noticed the changes in Blountsville?

Have you noticed the changes in Blountsville lately? The old town square took on a new look in time for the Christmas season.

It all started 2.5 years ago, before the new mayor and council took office. Then-Gov. Bob Riley had designated 2010 as the year of small towns and downtowns, but the official deadline to participate was just weeks after the council’s first meeting.

Knowing this, the Blountsville Historical Society set to work determining what historical information to put on the new state-sponsored monument that could be unveiled during the 1010 town homecoming festivities. Members decided to feature the town square, which had lost its identity through the years. The presentation was ready by the time the new council was sworn in.

As one of their first official acts, Mayor Randy Millwood and council members approved participation. At that time, the historical society also displayed a model of the square with suggestions for a sidewalk park with lights, greenery, benches, and the new monument. The vision was first to surround the square with the sidewalk park and then install Victorian-styled lights along Main Street. It was also determined to combine the homecoming celebration with the harvest festival in 2010.

This being done, the Blountsville Business Association, presided over by Allen Gilliland, became involved and then began work on both the 2009 and 2010 festivals at the same time. Many joint meetings occurred with the mayor, building inspector Danny Stevens, and the committee comprising Jean Gilliland, Dicey Childers, Jane Wright, Betty Alexander, Martha Mooneyham, and myself. Revisions were made along the way, including installing the monument by the gazebo instead of on the sidewalk.

When it became evident from booth application revenues and festival sponsorships how big the 2010 Homecoming and Harvest Festival would be, the business association authorized a donation to the Town of Blountsville to purchase the lights and clock.

Although the lights arrived in time for the festival, obstacles prevented installation for another month. Once the obstacles were overcome, local business Spring Valley Beach sponsored a new sidewalk with conduits and electrical installation, all done in time to be first turned on to surprise townsfolk at Blountsville’s annual Christmas Open House with Santa Claus.

The new look started with an idea – one that had never been tried before in Blountsville – and fortunately the mayor listened and was willing to try! How lucky Blountsville is to have movers and shakers, as the first phase was done without a grant.

The numerous volunteers and business contributors who made it happen are wholeheartedly appreciated and thanked! Those who like it, want to continue the project, wish to initiate other improvements, or care to donate toward more lights may contact Mayor Millwood at Blountsville Town Hall, 429-2406.

– Joyce Thompson