By Morgan Bryce
Guiding youth toward a better and brighter future as well as uniting Opelika and the rest of Lee County in a fun, family-friendly way are the goals of the third-annual “O Day in the Village” event May 25 from 1 to 8 p.m. at Covington Park.
According to Event Organizer Teddy Houston, attendance has steadily increased the last two years, jumping from nearly 1,000 in 2017 to more than 1,500 people last year.
“I believe a reason for that growth is the fact that this is an alcohol and drug-free event, which is the cornerstone of this event,” Houston said.
Because of generous donations and sponsorships, each aspect of the event is free for those in attendance, Houston said.
The menu will consist of main dishes including hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, with sides ranging from baked beans and potato salad to macaroni and cheese.
Adults and children alike will have a myriad of activities to choose from, ranging from athletic competitions like kickball and softball to a talent show, horseback riding and face painting booth staffed by Auburn University students. Deejay Hustleman will provide music and local dignitaries including Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller, Rep. Jeremy Gray and Wards 1 and 2 Councilwomen Patsy Jones and Tiffany Gibson-Pitts will speak.
Parking will be available in the Covington Recreation Center parking lot as well as surrounding neighborhood, and guests are encouraged to arrive early. Houston requests that guests park responsibly and clean up any trash before leaving on the day of the event.
Houston encourages people from across Lee County, regardless of race or creed, to come and participate in the event.
“The whole city of Opelika is behind us on this, which is what it’s all about – bringing the whole community together and spreading a message to our kids to stay in school, stay away from drugs, say no violence or anything that might hurt them or keep from succeeding in life,” Houston said.
Following is a list of corporate sponsors and individuals helping Houston make this year’s event possible, subject to change until the week of the event:
- 4th Street Station
-Butcher Paper BBQ
- Comfort Cooling, Heating and Air LLC
- Five Points Barber Shop (Roy Henderson, Desmond Calhoun and Nard Banks)
- Game Time Sports Bar and Grill
- Harris Funeral Home
- Intown Imagery
- Lovie’s Kitchen and Catering
- Next Level Recording Studio
- Pro Car Care
- Tiger Town Chick-fil-A
- Too Clean Carwash and Detailing
- Travis Carswell Allstate Insurance Agency
- George Allen
- George C. Bandy Jr. (covering the deejay’s cost)
- The Battle Family
- The Dowdell Family
- The Finley Family
- The Houston Family (Teddy’s family)
- Corey Grant (covering five hours of train rental fees from Ballard Party Rentals)
- Rep. Jeremy Gray (co-organizer and sponsor with his business (Elevate Your Grind)
- Marcus Johnson
- Omar Marshall
- Latoya Smith
- Junie Stephens
- Tianna Summers
- Kelvin and Melvin Wallace.
- Quentin Wright.
The park is located at 213 Carver Ave.