An Authentically Alleghany 4th of July
The next two weeks bring many opportunities to experience an Authentically Alleghany 4th of July. The events range from a traditional Independence Day parade and fireworks display to those that are unique to our community such as lawnmower races and canoeing the New River.
The diversity of those events fuel a question that often arises – what does “Authentically Alleghany” really mean? Does someone have to be a lifelong resident to be considered authentic? Does an event have to have a long history and fit a certain criteria to be labeled authentic? Or are we open to newcomers and new events?
As part of our recent branding study, we surveyed local residents and asked what attributes define Alleghany County. The responses fell into several broad categories: outdoor recreation, cultural heritage, the arts, and a relaxing environment that is family friendly. And of course, geographically, we are the Heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our events reflect those attributes.
That leads to the more challenging question of who is Authentically Alleghany. The scheduled events give insight into that question. Those who consider themselves authentic to our county embrace the community and seek ways to plug into community activities. They can listen quietly as an author reads from their work, cheer as their neighbors’ race lawnmowers, paddle the river with their family, or “ooh and ah” from the tailgate of a pickup truck as fireworks light up the sky over Sparta. We do these things to support local organizations such as volunteer fire departments or schools and as simply a way to connect with our community.
No single event or group stereotypes who we are and what it means to be a part of our county. We are community of deep rooted families and recent transplants. We can make lots of noise or sit quietly. We embrace our past but are not bound by it. This year’s 4th of July parade theme describes us perfectly – United We Stand. Roll that all together and you define Authentically Alleghany.
For more information of schedule events visit https://www.authenticallyalleghany.com/events/