Elba Chamber prepares for 'Let Freedom Ring' Celebration
The Elba Chamber of Commerce June 15 meeting focused on topics ranging from the upcoming Fourth of July celebration to serious concerns about housing and population.
I learned more about the Elba community in this meeting. I saw their drive to enhance the town. I heard passionate members expressing their concerns, and I witnessed the support Mayor Mickey Murdock gave in his efforts to move along the ideas and visions of the people.
At this particular meeting, I heard about challenges, but it did not stop there. I saw the 13 community members present also discuss possible solutions that would benefit the town. These Chamber members simply did not point out what was wrong. They quickly pointed out was right in Elba and expressed their desire to enhance the assets.
One of those assets is the upcoming Fourth of July celebration, Let Freedom Ring, set for July 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Square.
The event will be fun for the whole family with food, a parade, and fireworks. Most parade participants walk or decorate their golf carts in red, white, and blue. There is even a prize for most patriotic entry.
Linda Hodge, chair of the Let Freedom Ring committee, called for a vote to allow Elba High School’s marching band run the bounce houses at the festival. In doing so, all the money that is raised from the bounce houses will be donated to the band for their trip to Chicago in March 2018 to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The next discussion focused on the possibility of seeing new housing developed in the community that could help pull in a bigger population for Elba. Mayor Murdock said newer housing projects could attract new residents.
Sandy Bynum, Chamber resident, expressed concern that many of the people who work in Elba do not live in Elba.
In addition to an eagerness to see more housing options, Chamber members suggested that developing a cohesive message about the good life in Elba might help the town grow. “We need to scream louder than any negativity,” says Neil Grantham, one member of the Chamber, said.
Ideas were tossed around on how to promote the city and its historic story. Possibilities included creating a commercial for the city featuring testimonials from locals on how much they love this small town.
They created a perfect balance of recognizing difficult challenges while promoting the positive aspects of life in Elba. I am proud and impressed with the Elba Chamber Commerce for their commitment to this city.