By Kaitlin Candelaria
We Love Homewood Day is an all-day event on May 2 celebrating all that the city has to offer.
The event, which dates back over 30 years, is an annual tradition for many in Homewood. All proceeds benefit the Homewood High School band.
“Different people take different aspects of the day,” said Rusty Holley, parks and recreation superintendent. “We consider it to be people celebrating Homewood who live there.”
The event will kick off bright and early at 7:30 a.m. with the 2015 We Love Homewood Day 5K, formerly known as the Spirit Scamper, at Homewood Central Park. The 5K was revived several years ago by Homewood High School and this year has moved from the greenway off Lakeshore Drive back to the park.
“Hopefully that will introduce a few people who have done the run in the past to what’s going on in the park,” Holley said. “People that were running (the race) at the school felt like it was kind of disconnected from the rest of the day. We’re hoping it adds a new element where they really feel like they’re part of the festivities.”
Following the run, the Spring in the Park Festival will kick off at 10 a.m. Children can enjoy inflatables and rides while parents visit a vendor expo featuring crafters, civic groups and businesses as well as a silent auction.
Live music will begin at midday. A DJ will provide entertainment before the Homewood High School band takes the stage at 1 p.m. for a pep rally and concert.
The Society of Creative Anachronism will also be presenting medieval demonstrations throughout the day.
Although the West Homewood Lions Club usually provides barbecue for the event, the group has stepped back this year and will instead offer Pepsi products, hamburgers and hotdogs. Food trucks such as Cantina and Saw’s will also be present as well as the Homewood Rotary Club, which will host a bake sale.
Aspiring artists can come out for the Rotary Club Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest which will take place throughout the day.
As the day begins to wind down, the We Love Homewood Day Parade will begin. The parade will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Homewood Library and travel west on Oxmoor Road to the Edgewood business district.
Floats in the parade will compete to win best of show, most Homewood spirit and the best float awards. Participation in the parade is free.
To cap off the fun-filled day, a street dance will take place in Edgewood. Before the dance gets started, the Quality of Life Award will be presented to a deserving Homewood citizen for his or her work and service to the Homewood community.
Afterwards, families can dance the night away to the music of Bonus Round. Edgewood merchants will also be open to provide food and refreshments.
“The street dance was added about 10 years ago, and it’s added a nighttime feature that gave high school-age kids, college-age kids and parents something else to go to,” Holley said.
The event will wrap up at 9:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.homewoodparks.com.