|Despite a global pandemic, Fort Thomas residents proved nothing could stop them from celebrating the Fourth of July. Mayor Eric Haas announced winners of the city's celebration. (Img: Fort Thomas Renaissance Board, 35 Sunset Ave)|
by Robin Gee, city council beat editor
City residents proved it will take more than a global pandemic to keep them from celebrating America during the country’s most patriotic holiday. Many were disappointed that, due to the COVID-19 virus, plans for celebrating the holiday, including the traditional citywide parade, had to be canceled.
Soon after the announcement of that cancellation, however, a committee formed to come up with new, safe ways to celebrate. After all, in the depths of the crisis, many felt it was important to take every opportunity to come together as a community.
The plan that developed involved a tour and showcase of the city’s neighborhoods as individuals and sometimes entire streets decorated and performed.
At the August meeting of city council, Fort Thomas Mayor Eric Haas announced the winners in several categories in the special Fourth of July celebration. The winners were:
- Best Americana Street: Avenel Place. The street hosted several activities such as a mask ornament decorating booth and had a social distance parade with theme "Covid Can’t Stop Our Fort." Floats featured things COVID took away such as prom night, soccer games and family vacations. As winners, the street will receive a sign to post at top of street.
- Best Business Display: Fort Thomas Coffee. Fort’s coffee shop featured a beautiful window display that was both patriotic and coffee-related and gave out gifts to children. The business will receive a photograph by Chris Stegner.
- Old Glory: 21 Fairfield Place. This house hung more than 130 flags, bunting and a blow up Uncle Sam.
- Moment in History: 11 Azalea Terrace. The display at this home was created as a drive-by history lesson, a timeline of the big landmarks in history of voting rights from the start of the nation to preset times.
- Patriotic Attire: 128 Manor Lane. The home provided a beautiful set up of a patriotic picnic basket with treats, decorated bicycles and more.
- National Symbol: 34 Sunset Avenue. This home was draped in a very large lite-up American flag.
- Patriotic Poem, Dramatic Reading: Anna Grace Philippe provided a video of her reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Patriotic Song: Kylie Grace Richard, who only recently started playing ukelele, sang “God Bless America” for her entry.
- Patriotic Instrumental: Kate Schroeder performed “Old Kentucky Home.”
- Best Photo: Nancy Schneider caught on camera many participants celebrating the alternative July Fourth.
"I want to thank everybody who participated. Thank you to judges and the committee that worked so hard to put something different together for our Fourth in the time of COVID," said the mayor. "I hope when we get back to having live meetings in person, we can invite these folks to come and be awarded with their prizes."