West End hosts third annual May Day gathering

Published 10:32 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Members of the West End community gathered on May 13 for a time of fellowship, food and fun during the third annual May Day Fest.

There was no admission to the event, which encouraged people to bring their own grills and cook out with the family.

“Three years ago, I had the vision to share with the community and get everyone together in a positive way,” former Clanton Councilman Greg DeJarnett said.

Each year the event has been hosted by the West End Neighborhood Watch and was held at E.M. Henry Park, considered the center of the community.

Grills and canopies were lined up throughout the park, as the smell of burgers and hotdogs and the sound of laughter filled the air.

“It just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said Jessie Binion, with the West End Neighborhood Watch. “This is something that can really work. We appreciate all that the community puts into this.”

The Clanton Police Department also set up a tent and a grill and provided demonstrates to kids in attendance.

The demonstrations included “Max” the police dog, fingerprinting and an obstacle course performed with goggles to replicate the vision problems associated with drinking and driving.

Music was played by a disc jockey under a pavilion and people quickly joined in to turn the cement slab into a dance floor.

The pavilion was also used as the stage where two scholarships and a pair of awards were presented.

The West End Neighborhood Watch gave $500 scholarships to Leslie Harton and Jala Harrison and also presented plaques to Juanita Parker and Ocie Williams for their continued dedication to the West End community.

“I think you need to recognize the people who make a significant impact,” DeJarnett said. “There is enough bad that’s going on, and we wanted to counter that. Good always outweighs the bad, and that is what has happened here.”