Rain doesn’t deter Heflin’s St. Paddy’s on Main celebration
March 18, 2018
By Bill Wilson
The Anniston Star

A cool misting rain greeted the 200 plus runners who lined up for the Strides of March 5k in Heflin Saturday morning on Ross Street in front of Heflin City Hall.

The 5k kicked off this year’s St. Paddy’s on Main event, which also included the annual St. Pawtrick’s Day Parade, a Lucky Charms eating contest, live music and other events.

J.P. Steven, of Ashville, ran the 5k. He looked like a leprechaun with his long green beard, green top hat with buckle, neon green running shoes,  knee high socks printed with “Lucky” and a gold four-leaf clover pin on his green shirt.

“It just looked like a fun thing. We looked at all the stuff they were having and it looked like it was going to be a real nice event,” Stevens said as the cool winds tugged at his beard.

Claire Payne,10, of Heflin had on a neon green wig with matching green feathers on her green shirt and was ready to run in her first 5K.

“I’m very pumped. This year I kinda wanted to go big for St. Patrick’s Day and so yesterday my mom and I, we went to Target. We got all this cool stuff for me to wear today. I love it,” Payne said.

Heflin City Council member Rhonda Lines raised her arms as she got close to the finish line.

“It was an experience. It was pretty rough but I made it,” Lines said.

Lines echoed what all the other runners said about the weather.

“I’d rather it be this way than hot and sunny,” Lines said.

A kids fun run was held after the 5K. As the fun run came to a close the skies opened up and it rained for over an hour and a half.

Revelers and vendors alike huddled under several tents located behind City Hall as the band Weird Beards played on. Billowing smoke from a grill loaded with rib eye steaks circulated the carnival type atmosphere.

Heflin Parks and Recreation Director Tammy Perry was busy during the rain getting things lined up for the pet parade and was optimistic about the weather.

“No one is going to rain on our parade,” Perry said.

Perry’s words rang true about 11:15 a.m. when the sun broke through the clouds in time for the pet parade at noon.

Heflin Mayor Rudy Rooks said the morning was successful and the rain only scared off a few vendors.

“If you don’t like the weather in Alabama just hang around for a little while and it will change,” Rooks said.

The pet parade not only had many breeds of costumed dogs but also included a green pig, two turtles and a hedgehog.