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Independence Day the Thorsby way

The Town of Thorsby came together for a celebration that combined faith and freedom on June 28.

Richard Wood Park was the site of the ceremony and has been since the tradition began over a decade ago.

Rows of fold up chairs lined Richard Wood Park, as residents watched and sang along to gospel and patriotic songs that were performed under the park’s pavilion.

“There is a lot of talent in this community and I believe that it was showcased amongst the churches tonight,” Thorsby First Baptist pastor Marc Hodges said. “We’re obviously thankful for our freedoms as Americans, but also thankful for our freedom in Christ.”

Jennifer Curry helps to get the acts and the lineup for the event together. It is a process that takes time to complete.

According to Curry, new aspects of this year’s performances were the use of live instruments, as well as the incorporation of youth groups from the community.

“We had some people that participated this year that hadn’t in the past,” Curry said. “It’s always good to see new people getting involved.”

Terry Jackson singing “American Trilogy” is one of the traditional acts that has become a staple at the ceremony.

“I contact the pastors and then they contact their churches,” Curry said. “It is a team effort and we all pull together. You just don’t get to do that in every place, and that point never escapes me.”

Thorsby holds its fireworks show each year on the Wednesday prior to July 4.

“It’s really early this year because of the way the calendar ends up, but maybe it will get people into a festive mood,” Hodges said. “You cannot be too thankful for the freedoms that we have.”

The ceremony came to an end with the honoring of those in attendance who served in the military.

The songs of each branch of the military were played and the veterans came up on stage as they heard their song being played.

Afterward, the veterans took a red, white and blue wreath and carried it over and placed it in front of the veteran’s memorial at the park, while “Taps” played in the background.

“That is a very special time,” Curry said.

The town’s fireworks show capped the night once the sun went down, as cars and people lined U.S. 31 through downtown Thorsby to catch a glimpse of the show.