Local Fairview Labor Day celebration: park renamed to honor Randall Shedd | CullmanSense


Fairview Labor Day celebration: park renamed to honor Randall Shedd

FAIRVIEW - In the 1880s, labor unions fought hard battles for improved working conditions for blue-collar workers. After many fatal strikes, including the infamous Pullman Railcar strike, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill to create a national holiday honoring the social and economic achievements of the working class. Today, we celebrate Labor Day with parades, speeches and cookouts with friends and family. Here in Cullman County, many municipalities and organizations have their own ways of celebrating workers.

The Town of Fairview held its annual Labor Day festival and parade, made possible by the Fairview Lions Club, and held a special ceremony shortly after the parade ended. While waiting for the parade to start, guests shopped from several different vendor booths, visited the classic car show and listened to music from local artists.

The parade featured a line of fire and rescue vehicles from municipalities like Berlin, Holly Pond, Baileyton and Fairview itself, followed by the elected Grand Marshal, Alabama Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview. The Fairview High School marching band came next, then the pee-wee and Fairview Elementary cheerleaders. When the last car had driven past, Fairview Mayor Keith Henry called attention toward the main stage for a few announcements.

The first thing was a short speech from District Governor of Lions Club District 34-A, Mark Stevens, about the Lions Club. The Club was formed in Chicago in 1917, and in 1925 Hellen Keller issued a challenge to the International Convention: become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Ever since accepting that challenge, the Lions Club has become the largest civic organization in the world. They work on projects involving eye care, juvenile diabetes and cancer, environmental conservation, and food for the hungry. Stevens recognized the Fairview Lions Club for its hard work on putting on the Labor Day celebration.

Henry then recognized and thanked the companies and individuals who helped with the park renovation: planting the flowers and trees, installing the new sign, and donating funds to make it all possible. He then called up someone to be honored for service to the town: Charles Keaton. Keaton has worked for the town for 22 years, and the town council felt that all his hard work needed to be honored in a more permanent manner. As such, a plaque will be placed near a pair of benches across from the stage, designating them as the "Charlie Keaton Sitting Area."

The final announcement called Shedd to the stage. Shedd served as mayor of Fairview for 12 years before serving in the Alabama legislature, and he's done many things in service of the town. To honor him for everything he's done, Henry and the town council agreed to dedicate the community park in his name. The Fairview Town Park will now be known as the Randall Shedd Community Park.

While Shedd took a moment to gather his thoughts, the FHS band played the school alma mater for the occasion. After the song, Shedd made a speech to express his gratitude.

"Mayor, town council, community, thank you. It's an honor to live here. It's a wonderful place to live, and I appreciate all the council members. When we first did this (the park), we stepped out on a limb financially and borrowed a bunch of money. We payed off three parts of the land, might still be paying off part of it, but it's nice to look out and see an event like this. I'm real thankful, and I appreciate that."

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  • Mayor Keith Henry presents a plaque to Charlie Keaton.
  • Heather Mann
  • Heather Mann
    The official sign for the newly-renamed Randall Shedd Community Park