BONIFAY More than a thousand were in attendance for the return of the Panhandle Patriotic Celebration in Bonifay on July 4.
Due to the pandemic, last years celebration was adjusted to feature only the fireworks show, which the community was invited to watch from their homes or cars. This years event marked the return of vendor tents, which were filled by local churches and other organizations offering everything from refreshments and balloons to information and spiritual support.
Local musical artists Kim Tate and Sake of One provided live entertainment, and the evenings finale showcased the traditional patriotic video presentation, followed by the fireworks show.
For many locals, the festivities were tinged with bittersweetness due to one notable absence: that of former Northside Assembly of God Pastor, Chuck Glass. Glass passed away in a car accident last September as he was headed on a relief mission in Louisiana to aid those affected by Hurricane Laura.
Westville Assembly of God Pastor Buddy Pennington became emotional as he prepared to introduce the video presentation, urging the crowd to listen carefully to Glass words, immortalized at the beginning of the video, which had been recorded for previous events and spoke of service to others, as well as to God during ever-changing times.
Listen, said Pennington. Listen to what hes telling us. Theres no better way to honor his memory.
The Panhandle Patriotic Celebration is organized by the Holmes County Ministerial Association, which states its goal is to present a safe and free celebration for the community.