Resident decorates Clanton street for Peach Festival

Published 10:02 pm Thursday, June 27, 2013

Clanton resident Rhonda Frederick has a knack for making her street stand out with decorations she hangs up every year during the Peach Festival, Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day.

Frederick, 62, makes decorations by hand and, with her neighbors’ permission, adorns their mailboxes with the decorations in the weeks before holidays or county events like the festival.

About three weeks ago, Frederick affixed a painted burlap peach and bow to every mailbox and the stop sign on her street, Hoyt Brownie Road, to promote the Peach Festival.

“We do this to support the city and what they’re doing, and to bring people out a little bit more and support our community,” Frederick said. “I just enjoy crafts and doing stuff for people. It connects our road and our community.”

Frederick said she has made decorations for her street since she moved into her house in 2009.

She makes decorations for about 14 houses, including her own, along with flagpoles and the stop sign at the end of the street adjoining Lay Dam Road.

She buys the majority of her materials from Dollar General and Pinedale Gardens.

She said her neighbors contribute funds to help cover the cost of materials.

“I like doing stuff, and they all appreciate it,” Frederick said. “Hopefully, it puts a smile on their face when they walk outside and see it.”

Frederick said many of the neighbors for whom she makes the decorations are close friends that she visits with on a regular basis anyway, and her decorations serve as a gesture of friendship.

Lally and Janie Bates live across the street from Frederick and said they are grateful for her decorations and generosity.

“[We are] very appreciative of what Rhonda does,” Lally Bates said. “As she said, we look after each other.”

Frederick’s decorations have been such a hit that some residents referred to Hoyt Brownie Road as “Red Bow Road” after they saw her elaborate Christmas mailbox bows one year.

She said assembling the peach mailbox decorations was not complicated.

She cut out burlap in the shape of a peach, sewed two pieces of burlap together using a sewing machine, stuffed the peach’s hollow core with plastic bags, painted it and added green leaves and a ribbon bow to the top.

“It doesn’t take me long at all,” Frederick said. “It gives me something to do to keep me occupied.”

She plans to leave the peach decorations up through the Peach Jam, parade and auction over the weekend and then replace them for red, white and blue Fourth of July trimmings.

Frederick said numerous people drive or walk down her street on their way to Clanton City Park for the Peach Jam, and once again, she and her neighbors are ready for them to see their community spirit.