By Wil Crews

Opelika’s annual giving back to the community event, Opelika Day, is being held on Saturday, July 3 at Covington Park.

“O-day started four years ago when there used to be a lot of violence going on,” said event coordinator Teddy Houston. “So, I said ‘I need to put something together to bring everybody together and let them know, hey, let’s love on one another, let’s put the guns down, let’s try to do it this way.’”

The Curtis House, a local non-profit community center that provides a safe haven for elderly, adults and children, is helping sponsor the event.

Starting at 10 a.m., food and drink, games, inflatables, horseback riding, music and more will be available – free – to the entire Opelika community.

“Any color, any race, any age,” Houston said. “It’s just for the community to come together and just have fun. It’s a positive event.”

Whether you are looking for a fun afternoon of festivities or just sniffing around for some good food, O-Day is the event for you.

Food vendors already scheduled to appear are Twice Baked, the Grub Spot and the “chicken wrap king” Carl Harper. Certain food options will be vending, but 90% of the food is free.

Softball, kickball, basketball and football games are scheduled throughout the day. Water slides, free snow cones and drinks will keep you cool in that mid-day summer heat.

Furthermore, local author, Corey Bryant, will have a booth set up advertising his new book, “R.I.C.O,” so make sure to stop by and get a signed copy for yourself. For the adults, Dreamz Pool Hookah Lounge and Bunny T’s mobile bartending will be making an appearance as well.

To put on an event of such scale, Houston enlisted the help of Opelika Main Street Board President Melissa Munford, “silent partner,” Representative Jeremy Gray, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Corey Grant and former Baltimore Ravens safety Ledarius Webb – all of whom are contributing in some way to make the day possible. 

Houston said they are still searching for volunteers to help with food, kids activities and parking – and hoping for more donations.

“There is a lot more stuff to be paid for,” Houston said. “We just step out on faith and try to get it and bring it back to the community and show love.”

Although its marketed to all age groups, all in all, O-Day is an effort directed at the betterment of Opelika’s youth.

“It is so important to the kids; the kids are our future,” Houston said. “They are looking forward to it. All the way from kindergarten to college level, it’s kind of a meet spot. Everybody unites before they go back to school and stuff. I don’t know who enjoys it more, the kids or the adults. It’s good for everybody.”

For more information, or to volunteer or donate, contact Munford at 334- 559-8974.